Metro-North Railroad

Ricky Flores/The Journal News via USA TODAY NETWORK

Metro-North Says It Will Meet Positive Train Control Deadline, But Needs Time For Testing

July 26, 2018 - 1:28 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The Metro-North Railroad said despite reports to the contrary, it will be meeting the federal year-end deadline to install positive train control on its trains.

But the PTC system likely will not be fully operational by December, according to Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi.

She said federal regulations require that all U.S. railroads have PTC hardware installed and employees trained by Dec. 31. But Metro-North will have to file for an extension to make sure the system is fully activated and working properly.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) is not thrilled with the curveball, saying the MTA should have hold Metro-North officials accountable for the oversight.

On Tuesday, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials confirmed that Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road will join NJ TRANSIT in petitioning the federal government to extend the deadline to install the positive train control (PTC) protection system.

The rails are asking the Federal Railroad Administration for an extra two years to install the technology, which monitors a train’s speed and location, and activates brakes as necessary.

The U.S. Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, passed after a deadly train crash in 2015, mandates that all railroads must have PTC by Dec. 31, 2018. If the deadline is missed, heavy fines could be imposed.