Known as PTC, Positive Train Control is a complex signaling and communications technology that is designed to make commuter rail even safer.
PTC is a communications-intense technology that transmits data between trains and communications towers using wireless Internet, GPS, and encrypted radio transmissions. It requires thousands of sensors on train tracks and locomotives; data centers to collect and analyze the data, and a train’s engine and braking system to be optimized as needed.
PTC utilizes a series of sensors and integrated monitoring systems that track key movements of trains and conditions on rail tracks in real time to identify potentially hazardous situations. If an unsafe speed situation arises, PTC automatically will trigger a train’s braking system to slow it or stop it and prevent an accident, such as a train-to-train collision.
Commuter rail operators are continuously updating these systems and their components to ensure safe, reliable, quick, and convenient commuter rail service.