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SEPTA Positive Train Control Update

Transit News | February 22nd, 2016

With the final phases of testing and preparations almost done, SEPTA says there are still two tasks remaining before they can officially launch Positive Train Control (PTC) on SEPTA Regional Rail:

  • FRA testing and approval of the SEPTA PTC system
  • Software revision upload on Regional Rail cars

In addition to reviewing its Safety and Implementation Plans, the FRA must also conduct an on-site test of SEPTA’s PTC system and that is scheduled to take place next week. Once completed, SEPTA will request concurrence from the FRA to conduct a Revenue Service Demonstration (RSD) and begin operating this groundbreaking safety system on the Warminster Regional Rail Line.

Starting Tuesday, February 23rd, SEPTA staff will be out at Warminster Line stations to talk about the launch of its PTC program. Please take a moment to stop and talk with them – they’ll be clearly identified by their yellow safety vests.

While SEPTA waits for the testing to take place, work will continue to upload the software revisions on the 110 Regional Rail cars that will be used for the RSD.

Based on the tasks mentioned above, the earliest date SEPTA anticipates being able to launch PTC on the Warminster Line would be Monday, February 29th but that is contingent on successfully passing the testing program and the FRA declaring SEPTA ready to operate our PTC system.

With Amtrak’s launch of their Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System (ACSES), SEPTA has identified Wilmington/Newark and Trenton Lines as high priorities for our PTC rollout. While SEPTA wants to bring all its routes, on-line as soon as possible, it will not expand its deployment program beyond the Warminster Line until they are comfortable with operating PTC in its own territory.