FRA puts NJ Transit on notice regarding PTC, but agency is accelerating testing

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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NJ Transit promotes diversity on bidding for construction contracts for Portal North Bridge.
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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) called out four transit agencies for being behind in meeting the Dec. 31 deadline for Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation. NJ Transit was one of them, but the agency says the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the PTC project.

TEXRail, Chicago’s Metra and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express also were named in the FRA quarterly report regarding PTC, and each could be fined $27,000 a day if PTC is not fully operational at the end of the year. NJ Transit, however, says the next quarterly report will put the agency in a more positive light. As of early April, NJ Transit claims it had increased the number of PTC test trains (there are now eight trains running continuously) in order to execute 384 “flawless” trips to satisfy the FRA. The FRA first quarter report concluded on March 31, and reported only 5 percent of those test trips had been made. NJ Transit said 110 trips had been made through April 7.

With a 98 percent decline in ridership since the COVID-19 outbreak in March, NJ Transit has been running more daytime test trains. Before March it was only running the test trains at night.

NJ Transit also said it will be providing monthly PTC progress reports.

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