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NCTD Implements Positive Train Control RSD

Coaster at Del Mar

Oceanside, CA—The North County Transit District (NCTD) has achieved another milestone in the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) along the San Diego sub-division. PTC is an integrated command, control, communications, and information system for controlling train movements with safety, security, precision, and efficiency and must be implemented pursuant to a congressional mandate by December 31, 2018. NCTD has recently received Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) authorization for the initiation of Revenue Service Demonstration (RSD) operations on COASTER trains, which includes passenger carrying trains (revenue train).

RSD is an important step in implementation of PTC as it allows NCTD to collect and validate data on the performance of the PTC system. This testing supports the PTC Safety Plan that NCTD anticipates submitting to the FRA in September 2017.

NCTD’s PTC system has been tested for months on a non-revenue train in the Stuart Mesa Rail facility and along the coastal corridor. This testing was aimed at developing and enhancing the PTC infrastructure while troubleshooting any potential challenges prior to moving to RSD.

“Safety is NCTD’s top priority. Implementing a system as complex as this does not happen overnight. But with that complexity comes a great leap forward in greater rail safety,” said Deputy Chief Operations Officer of Rail Systems, Eric Roe.

Despite the robust testing, during this period of RSD, COASTER passengers may experience delays at origin locations (Oceanside Transit Center or Santa Fe Depot) when trains are initializing the system. The trains could also come to a brief stop based on PTC automatically applying the brakes.

While there are challenges to implementing any new technology, the long term benefits of having PTC is increased safety on the rail. NCTD, its rail partners, and its contractors will continue to work diligently to minimize the impacts of PTC implementation on customers.

For more information about PTC, please visit: