Safety is Amtrak’s top priority. Amtrak is a leader in the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC), a safety technology designed to match train speed to track conditions for improved safety. Positive Train Control provides an added layer of safety.

On January 1, 2019 we expect:

  • All Amtrak-owned or controlled track will have PTC in operation on Jan. 1, 2019 with the exception of 1.5 miles of slow-speed track in the Chicago terminal area.
  • Our trains will be operating with PTC on approximately 16,000 miles of host railroad-controlled track.  These are the tracks owned by others that Amtrak uses for most of its route network.
  • We will have performed and implemented operational risk mitigations across the remaining approximately 5,000 host railroad track miles that will not have PTC operating due to having been granted either FRA-approved PTC exemptions (MTEAs) or alternative schedule for PTC implementation. Approximately 1,500 of the 5,000 miles qualify for MTEAs.

Additionally, Amtrak has made significant progress implementing PTC across the routes and equipment we control. As of November 8, 2018:

  • 84 percent, 370 of 443, of Amtrak-owned locomotives are fully equipped and PTC operable
  • 60 percent, 68 of 114, of state-owned locomotives and cab cars that Amtrak operates or maintains are fully equipped and PTC operable
  • 100 percent, 144 of 144, of our PTC radio towers are fully installed and equipped
  • 100 percent of employees who require training to support PTC operations have completed training
  • 100 percent of hardware installation complete
  • 67 percent, 607 of 900, route miles of Amtrak-owned or controlled track are in PTC operation

On Friday, Nov. 16, Amtrak submitted an application to the FRA for an alternative schedule to allow for interoperability testing with our freight and commuter partners and for the potential for some limited technical issues to arise during testing.

To read more about PTC, please review the materials we have provided below. This includes quotes and PDFs of testimonies from Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson,  an in-depth presentation discussing the technology, and links to the FRA for additional PTC implementation reports. You can also access our PTC video here.

Senate Testimony  – October 3, 2018

thumbnail of Scot Naparstek Written Testimony Senate Commerce 10-03-18 FINAL

House Testimony  – September 13, 2018

thumbnail of Naparstek House TI Testimony 2018-09 Final

Positive Train Control Presentation

Federal Railroad Administration Annual & Quarterly Reports:


2016 Report

Quarterly Report