Anastasia Weckerly

SEPTA Launches Positive Train Control System on Fox Chase Regional Rail Line

SEPTA this week launched a train-control system that enforces locomotive speeds and reduces the chance of human error on its Fox Chase Regional Rail Line.

Positive train control, commonly referred to as PTC, is the most up-to-date system in signal safety and is designed to detect potentially unsafe conditions. The system can reduce the chance of accidents by enforcing speed levels and regulating out-of-service equipment, among many other measures.

SEPTA is working to install the technology in both its Silverliner IV and Silverliner V fleets, which transport more than 100,000 riders every day. Last year's deadly derailment of Amtrak 188 in at Frankford Junction in Philadelphia sparked new requirements for installation of the system on tracks.

SEPTA shares some tracks with Amtrak in the area.

The U.S. Rail Safety Improvement Act, which mandated that PTC be implemented on many train routes across the country, was passed in 2008. SEPTA launched PTC on the Warminster Regional Rail line in April, and calls the introduction of PTC a safety milestone for passengers and employees. 

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