Amtrak to Begin PTC on BNSF Subdivisions

In coordination with BNSF Railway, Amtrak will implement Positive Train Control (PTC) over several BNSF-owned subdivisions this week. This will be the first time Amtrak has activated PTC on host-owned territory used by Amtrak. 

“Amtrak’s highest priority is ensuring the safety of our passengers, our crews and the communities we serve, and full implementation of PTC will make the entire network safer,” remarked Ken Hylander, Amtrak executive vice president of safety. “While we are excited to achieve this milestone, we must continue to work together to activate PTC and make the national railroad network safer.” 

Amtrak will begin the PTC roll out on the subdivisions that serve the Amtrak Southwest Chief and California Zephyr. Full PTC activation on BNSF routes is expected by the end of August. 

“This is a great step for Amtrak,” said Chris Matthews, BNSF assistant vice president network control systems. “We have the infrastructure in place that allows them to operate on our network. We have partnered with them on the federal mandate and in some cases beyond the federal mandate to install PTC on subdivisions not required of BNSF. We look forward to continuing that partnership as they roll-out PTC along our routes.” 

Installation and operation of PTC across Amtrak’s controlled network is expected by the year-end deadline. Amtrak is also working with partners to advance this system on host infrastructure.