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Metrolink and Union Pacific Railroad Enhance Safety with Interoperable Positive Train Control

Wednesday April 25, 2018

Metrolink, the first passenger railroad in the nation to operate Positive Train Control (PTC), an innovative life-saving technology that prevents train collisions and derailments, across its entire host territory, has now taken its commitment to safety a step further by announcing interoperability with Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR). Metrolink can now use its PTC technology on tracks owned by UPRR on the Ventura County Line north of the Moorpark station and the Riverside Line. UPRR will operate PTC throughout tracks owned by Metrolink on the Ventura County Line south of the Moorpark station and the Antelope Valley Line.

“With this development, Metrolink, as a leader in safety, has significantly expanded Positive Train Control across its network of shared track,” said Metrolink Board Chair Andrew Kotyuk. “The Southern California rail system is safer because both Metrolink and Union Pacific Railroad will be able to operate in Southern California with life-saving PTC technology.”

PTC combines GPS, wireless radio and computing technology to send up-to-date visual and audible information and notify train crew members when a train must be slowed or stopped. If an engineer does not respond to the PTC warning system, onboard computers will activate the brakes and safely stop the train. PTC can stop a train to prevent incidents caused by speeding and when trains are operating through red signals or on the wrong tracks.

"Union Pacific's successful PTC interoperability with Metrolink trains in Southern California is a major step in enhancing safe operations between freight and passenger railroads," said Lupe Valdez, Union Pacific director - Public Affairs, Southern California. "It will be important that all railroads continue working together to ensure smooth and safe transitions as PTC is implemented."

In June 2015, Metrolink launched PTC in Revenue Service Demonstration (RSD) across the entire 341-mile network the agency owns. With this accomplishment, Metrolink became the first railroad in the nation to have PTC running during regular service on all of its hosted lines. In October 2017, Metrolink achieved PTC interoperability with Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) and is now the first commuter railroad in the nation to achieve interoperable PTC with both BNSF and UPRR.

Metrolink is coordinating with its remaining operating partners, Amtrak and North County Transit District (NCTD) to achieve interoperability this year across all shared tracks in the Southern California region.

For information on PTC, click here

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Metrolink is Southern California's regional commuter rail service in its 25th year of operation. Metrolink is governed by The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Metrolink operates seven routes through a six-county, 538 route-mile network. Metrolink’s passengers travel approximately 441 million miles each year, making Metrolink the second busiest public transportation provider in Southern California. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the eighth largest based on annual ridership.