Positive Train Control Now Covers 90% of the Hudson Line

Metro-North Hudson Line Train
Metro-North Hudson Line Train

Metro-North has extended Positive Train Control to cover almost 90% of the Hudson Line as of November 5, 2019. All Hudson Line trains, including Amtrak and CSX, are now operating in Positive Train Control between Marble Hill and Poughkeepsie, a distance of 67 miles. Positive Train Control is a signal system safety enhancement that reduces the potential for human error to cause specific types of train collisions and derailments.

In Connecticut, trains traveling the 23-mile Danbury Branch, including all Metro-North trains and Providence & Worcester freight trains, began operating in Positive Train Control in August. Metro-North anticipates having Positive Train Control operational across its entire territory by the third quarter of 2020.

Combined, the safety technology is currently running on 268 trains a day and 90 route miles of Metro-North. Full Positive Train Control functionality was commissioned on the Hudson Line from Croton Harmon to Poughkeepsie in September; today’s announcement represents an extension southward to Marble Hill.

“Our progress on the implementation of Positive Train Control reaffirms my confidence that Metro-North will complete the system wide roll-out by the end of 2020,” said Catherine Rinaldi, President of Metro-North Railroad. “Safety is our top priority at Metro-North, and I’m pleased to report our continued progress on this crucial initiative.”

The segment of the Hudson Line now in PTC service includes the entire length of the Hudson Line that is used by Amtrak. It also includes the Spuyten Duyvil curve, which was the site of Metro-North’s Dec. 1, 2013, derailment of Train 8808. This curve is one of five critical curves where train speeds have been automatically enforced since December 2013, a key benefit of Positive Train Control that was enacted in advance of the systemwide roll-out.

Positive Train Control is a federally mandated safety system that is designed to enhance railroad safety by eliminating the potential for human error to contribute to train-to-train collisions, trains traveling into zones where railroad employees are working on tracks, or derailments caused by a train traveling too fast into a curve or into a misaligned switch. It builds upon existing Metro-North systems such as in-cab signaling and automatic speed enforcement at critical curves and bridges. These safety measures already offer some of the most substantial functions of PTC to Metro-North customers.

For a video explaining how Positive Train Control works, visit the MTA’s YouTube Channel at YouTube.com/MTAInfo. Searching for the phrase Positive Train Control will bring up a 3-minute video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIX9wWlY_wg

Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road are adhering to an aggressive segment-by-segment implementation schedule that puts them on paths to complete the roll-out of PTC across their entire networks before the Federal deadline of Dec. 31, 2020.