Inmotion JUNE 2014
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In this issue:
Attracting Development
Next Stop: DFW Airport
MAX Program Earns Recognition
Agency Celebrates Older Americans
Government Mandates PTC Systems
Apartments Rise on Maple Avenue
Sales Tax Revenue and Ridership Reports
DART Current and Future Services to 2016
Connect with DART

Implementing Positive Train Control

Technology will help reduce accidents

In response to several fatal accidents on other rail systems between 2002 and 2008, Congress passed the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, mandating implementation of positive train control (PTC) systems on rail lines that:
  • Carry at least 5 million gross tons of freight annually
  • Transport any amount of poison- or toxic-by-inhalation materials
  • Provide regularly scheduled intercity or commuter rail passenger transportation
Positive train control systems can intervene in train operations by warning crews or causing trains to stop if they are not being operated safely because of inattention, misinterpretation of wayside signal indications, or incapacitation of the crew.

Impact on DART

Commuter rail lines like the Trinity Railway Express must implement positive train control systems that can automatically stop or slow a train before accidents occur.
Commuter rail lines like the Trinity Railway Express must implement positive train control systems that can automatically stop or slow a train before accidents occur.
The agency is taking the lead on implementing PTC on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE), which it owns jointly with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T). The TRE shares a 34-mile corridor with Amtrak and freight railroads, including BNSF and Union Pacific.

DART also is teaming with the Denton County Transportation Authority to implement PTC on the A-train, whose 21-mile corridor is shared with the Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad.

Together, the transit agencies will implement a regional solution for the two North Texas commuter railroads, basing their PTC system on technology used by the nation's major freight carriers, including BNSF and Union Pacific.

Because DART Rail runs on dedicated track, it is not governed by the rule. Future commuter rail lines - such as The T's TEX Rail project and DART's Cotton Belt Corridor - will have PTC built into the design.

"Interoperability among railroads is the biggest challenge to PTC," said Norma De La Garza-Navarro, DART's vice president of commuter rail and railroad management.

These projects are estimated at nearly $35 million for the TRE and $23 million for the A-train. The North Central Texas Council of Governments is contributing $25 million and the three transit agencies must cover their portion of the balance. Work is anticipated to begin later this year and be complete by 2017.


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