Metrolink operating PTC on all agency-hosted lines

June 24, 2015

Metrolink operating life-saving Positive Train Control technology on 341 miles of agency-hosted lines
LOS ANGELES – Metrolink launched Positive Train Control (PTC) in Revenue Service Demonstration (RSD) across the entire 341-mile network the agency owns earlier this month. With this latest accomplishment, Metrolink becomes the first railroad in the nation to have PTC running during regular service on all of its hosted lines and remains on track to become the nation’s first passenger rail system to have a fully operational, interoperable, and certified PTC system in place.
Following approval from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Metrolink began operating PTC RSD on the last of Metrolink’s hosted rail system on June 14. RSD simply means trains in revenue service or in Metrolink’s case, with passengers on board.

“This is a time for us to pause, acknowledge how far we’ve come, and then double our efforts,” said Chair of the Metrolink Board of Directors Shawn Nelson, who is also an Orange County supervisor. “From the beginning, our agency was committed to have our entire system fully operable with PTC before the December 2015 federal deadline.”
The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA) set a federally mandated deadline of December 31, 2015 for PTC implementation.
Nelson also appreciated the Metrolink Board of Directors’ commitment to enhancing the safety of our passengers by embracing PTC and becoming an early implementer of the life-saving technology, along with inward-facing cameras and collision energy management.
“I am so proud of the efforts of the Metrolink Board and our staff to make this milestone happen.” Metrolink CEO Art Leahy said. “The collaborative effort to make PTC a reality in Southern California is a tremendous undertaking. It is only with the support and diligence of our member agencies and our delegation advocating tirelessly on our behalf that we have reached this point.”
Leahy added Metrolink’s gratitude for the support of its local, state and federal legislative delegation and federal partners such as the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
PTC involves a Global Positioning System (GPS)-based technology capable of preventing train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, unauthorized incursion into work zones and train movement through switches left in the wrong position. PTC monitors and, if necessary, controls train movement in the event of human error.
The NTSB has consistently included PTC in its lists of most wanted safety technologies for more than 40 years. According to the NTSB, PTC is one of the greatest rail safety innovations during the last 200 years.
Across its 512 route-mile network, Metrolink also operates on track owned and dispatched by the Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway and the North County Transit District (NCTD) in San Diego County. Metrolink, BNSF, Union Pacific and NCTD, along with Amtrak trains, will all have to install and implement an interoperable system for PTC to be complete in the region.
Metrolink provides nearly one million passenger boardings a month throughout its system.
The FRA has authorized Metrolink to operate PTC RSD using Wabtec’s Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS) ┬«. Wabtec’s I-ETMS┬« PTC System was selected by the four Class One freight railroads and by Amtrak outside of the northeast corridor as well as other commuter railroads including Metra and Coaster.
Parsons Transportation Group, Inc., a business unit of Parsons Corporation, is the primary contractor managing Metrolink’s PTC program.
The current cost for developing, installing and deploying PTC on the Metrolink system is $216.4 million. The funding comes from a combination of federal, state and local sources. Approximately 85 percent of the funds come from state and local dollars. Investments were also made to upgrade and expand the existing communication network, which is necessary for PTC and other modern railroad operations.
Metrolink’s PTC program is a significant undertaking that requires developing, testing, installing, and integrating an array of advanced systems and components. Aspects of the program include: the deployment on a back-office server (BOS) system and new PTC-compatible computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, installation of on-board PTC equipment on 57 cab cars and 52 locomotives, installing signal communication devices at 168 wayside locations, and implementing a six-county specialized communication network to link the wayside signals, trains and a new 24,000 square foot security-enhanced building to house the command and control equipment and personnel to dispatch the railroad at all times.
The Metrolink Dispatch and Operations Center (DOC) in Pomona is the dispatching hub for Metrolink train service, including other passenger and freight carriers which traverse the Metrolink territory, making it one of the nation’s busiest and most complex rail networks.
For additional details on Metrolink, please visit
Metrolink is Southern California’s regional commuter rail service in its 23rd year of operation. The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, governs the service. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county, 512 route-mile network, which includes a portion of northern San Diego County. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the eighth largest based on annual ridership.
Scott Johnson, Metrolink Public Affairs
(213) 452-0205 or

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