At the end of 2018, the nation’s largest freight railroads were operating positive train control (PTC) across the vast majority – 83.2% – of the required Class I PTC route miles nationwide, according to data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR), Washington, D.C. With this progress, the Class I railroads met the 2018 statutory requirements and are well on their way to meeting the final deadline for full implementation and validation, which is Dec. 31, 2020. Over the next two years, the Class I railroads will focus on testing to ensure that PTC systems are fully interoperable and work seamlessly across operations, as railroads regularly run across each other’s tracks.

“Each day, the freight railroads expand PTC operations, further reducing the risk of accidents on the nation’s rail network,” says Ian Jefferies, president and CEO. “By the end of 2018, the Class I railroads had installed and were operating PTC on the vast majority of their required networks, met all other statutory PTC requirements and remained on track to fully implement this critical safety technology by the final 2020 deadline. The railroads’ commitment to safety is unwavering, and this industry is proud of its accomplishments in this immense undertaking.”

As of Dec. 31, 2018, the Class I railroads invested $10.5 billion in the development, installation and implementation of PTC, and had the technology in operation across 44,695 miles of their 53,732 miles of PTC required track. All seven railroads also had 100% of the necessary wayside, back office and locomotive hardware installed, had all spectrum in place and completed all necessary employee training as required by the law.