Union Pacific (UP) has shared recent strides it has made toward the required implementation of positive train control (PTC) as federal deadlines loom ahead.
The company anticipates it will meet all of the required deadlines to install PTC throughout its network. UP said it will continue to implement, test and refine the technologies used on its the system in 2019 and 2020.
UP’s PTC footprint is the largest of all North American railroads and covers more than 17,000 route miles, officials said.
The Class 1 also said it is in regular contact with Federal Railroad Administration officials regarding its PTC implementation.
One of the most challenging aspects of PTC implementation is ensuring system interoperability among all U.S. rail lines and locomotives, UP said.
“Given the various readiness levels of North American freight and passenger railroads, it is important that all railroads continue working together to maintain the health, safety, resiliency, and fluidity of the rail network as PTC is implemented,” UP said in a statement.
The railroad’s first quarter 2018 accomplishments included the preparation of eight additional track segments for PTC operations, bringing the total number of track segments to 176, or 97 percent complete.
UP said these track segments are equipped with wayside devices, such as signals, switches and radios, and also have defined GPS coordinates that identify thousands of precise locations for PTC coordination throughout the system.
The railroad has also educated more than 3,300 additional employees on PTC operations during the first quarter of 2018, bringing the total number of employees trained to about 22,690, or 88 percent of employees.
PTC operation training materials are tailored to address various employee roles, including engineer, conductor, dispatcher, maintenance of way/engineering, mechanical, signal, telecom and information technologies, UP said.
The Class 1 also said it has increased the number of installed PTC route miles by nearly 900, bringing the total number of route miles in PTC operations to 10,899, or 64 percent.