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Statement from the U.S. Department of Transportation on PTC Progress

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

After the Rail Safety Improvement Act became law in October 2008, in the eight years between Q1 2009 and Q4 2016, railroads had only implemented PTC on 10,163 of nearly 57,848 required route miles.  By contrast, between the close of 2016 and the close of 2018, this improved to 45,933 out of 57,848.  In only the last two years, that’s an improvement from 16% to 83% for freight, and 24% to 30% for passenger rail.

Similarly, in the eight years between 2008 and the end of 2016, just 9,465 locomotives were equipped with PTC from a total of 22,577. Between 2016 and 2018, this number rose to 19,592 of the required locomotives in service. As a percentage, in the last two years locomotives equipped with PTC increased from 42% to 100% for freight and from 41% to 91% for passenger.

Just 212 track segments were completed in the eight years between 2008 and 2016.  Yet again in only two years that number shot up to 750 at the close of 2018- between freight and passenger rail, this was a 24-98% improvement for freight and 13-92% for passenger rail.

From the end of 2016 to the end of 2018, railroads deemed “at-risk” of failing to meet the PTC deadline dropped from 18 to 0.

These represent larger gains in the last two years than in the prior eight years combined.