The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will hold three symposia in Washington, D.C., throughout the summer to answer questions and address best practices surrounding the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC).
The first symposium will be held on June 15, 2018, in Washington, D.C., and is intended to bring together FRA's PTC experts and all 41 railroads congressionally mandated to implement PTC systems. FRA says discussion will focus on the requirements for the December 31, 2018, statutory deadline and answers to industry questions.
"The PTC Symposium is the latest effort from FRA to ensure that each and every railroad is aware of their obligations and is equipped to meet the Congressionally mandated deadline," said FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory.
In addition, FRA will hold two other PTC symposia this summer on important PTC-related matters. FRA will hold a second symposium on July 16, 2018, to discuss best practices for PTC system field testing and interoperability testing. The third symposium, on August 20, 2018, will cover lessons learned and best practices for PTC Safety Plans, which are necessary for host railroads to obtain PTC System Certification from FRA and to achieve full PTC system implementation under the statutory mandate.
FRA has been ramping up its outreach efforts, as all railroads subject to the statutory PTC implementation mandate must implement FRA-certified and interoperable PTC systems by the end of the year. Under the Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015, however, Congress permits a railroad to request FRA's approval of an "alternate schedule" with a deadline beyond Dec. 31, 2018, but no later than Dec. 31, 2020, for certain non-hardware, operational aspects of PTC system implementation.
Earlier this year, FRA held meetings with railroads affected by the PTC mandate and has been participating in webinars to help railroads take advantage of funding opportunities available.