NJ Transit running behind schedule on implementing positive train control

An NJ Transit train approaches the New Brunswick train station. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

An NJ Transit train approaches the New Brunswick train station. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

New Jersey Transit might be seeking another year to implement the positive train control system that can automatically stop trains and prevent collisions.

A letter from the Federal Railroad Administration expressing concerns over the agency’s progress in implementing PTC by the Dec. 31 deadline also mentioned a potential alternative schedule, said Kevin Corbett, New Jersey Transit executive director.

“That is a possible set of criteria where we will still make the 2020 deadline,” he said. “And that is something that we are looking at. Should we look for that alternative criteria, we would have to move very quick to apply for that.”

Only 11 percent of the hardware required for the safety system was installed on New Jersey Transit trains by the end of last year.

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Corbett said its contractor is making progress.

“We have now two production facilities for our trains’ engines and cars, and we’ve gone to double shifts in those,” he said Monday.  “And we’ve been working with FRA, showing them a schedule of what the production is now and what we expect to ramp it up as well as the wayside systems that are necessary.”

A quarterly progress report will soon be given to federal officials

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