Sound Transit completes PTC implementation milestone

Written by Kyra Senese, managing editor
Sound Transit
The Mountlake Terrace light rail segment is shut down after a worker was seriously injured.
Sound Transit

Earlier this week, Sound Transit announced the agency’s completion of Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation and certification on all of its Sounder commuter rail vehicles operating between Lakewood and Everett.

“Safety is our most important priority at Sound Transit,” said Peter Rogoff, the public transit agency’s CEO. “Each and every one of our riders must get home or to work safely every time. Adding Positive Train Control on all our Sounder trains will help us maintain our impeccable track record.”

Sound Transit said it implemented PTC in coordination with BNSF, the operator of Sounder service under contract. Officials explained that Sound Transit’s PTC equipment is fully interoperable with BNSF’s systems.

Sound Transit executed its contract for installing PTC equipment in 2013, in advance of many freight railroads and passenger rail agencies.

The public transit agency also completed the related installation work and commissioning last year, well in advance of the federal government’s deadline.

Sounder trains from Everett to Seattle began testing PTC in June of 2017, representatives said, while Sounder trains from Tacoma to Seattle began testing the technology in August of 2017.

Currently, the agency’s trains serve more than 17,000 passengers each weekday, and officials in the region expect rising congestion to push demand higher, Sound Transit said.

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