NJ Transit is behind schedule in installing positive train control, or PTC, an automatic braking safety system that investigators say might have prevented tragedies like the fatal Hoboken train crash in September 2016. The Federal Railroad Administration has underlined that the transit agency is in danger of missing a federal deadline for compliance.
The FRA has just released figures that show NJ Transit had installed positive train control in only 35 out of 440 locomotives and cab cars through the end of March, built 37 of 124 radio towers, trained 172 of 1,100 employees and implemented PTC on zero of 326 miles of track. NJ Transit’s own figures show it has picked up the pace somewhat, with more cars and radio towers outfitted and more staff trained since then.
NJ Transit has announced reduced service on 18 trains to expedite the installation of PTC and to meet a December 31 deadline. Amtrak has warned it won’t let NJ Transit use its tracks — including those that run under the Hudson River to Penn Station — if it doesn’t install PTC on time.
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