NJ Transit receives approval for PTC alternative schedule

NEWARK, NJ — NJ Transit has received Federal Railroad Administration approval on its submission for the Positive Train Control alternative schedule, which allows for full PTC implementation by the end of 2020. In approving the request, the FRA certified that NJ Transit successfully met all of the criteria required by the end of 2018.

“This accomplishment is the result of a herculean effort by NJ Transit leadership and staff to turn around a once languishing PTC program left to us by the prior administration,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a press release. “There are few one-year achievements this administration is prouder of because getting PTC done, and done right, is the driving force behind the rest of our efforts to fully restore NJ Transit into a transportation system that New Jersey residents deserve.”

“I commend the NJ Transit staff for the incredible work that was done to meet the December 2018 FRA requirements that ultimately resulted in the approval of the alternative schedule,” New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit Board Chairwoman Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “I also want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding in helping us reach this significant milestone.”

“This approval recognizes all of the hard work that so many of our employees and contractors performed over the course of 2018,” NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett said. “We had to accomplish four years’ worth of work in just 10 months and couldn’t have been successful without the support and guidance from our partners at the FRA. I would particularly like to thank FRA Administrator Ron Batory and his PTC team. There is still much work to be done before December 2020 and we’re not slowing down until PTC is fully implemented.”

On Dec. 14, NJ Transit submitted to the FRA a request for an alternate schedule which allows for full PTC implementation by Dec. 31, 2020. NJ Transit also, at that time, submitted documentation that it had met the statutory requirements to qualify for the alternate schedule. The six criteria were: installation of PTC system hardware including on 282 locomotives/cab cars, 120 wayside interface units and 112 poles; acquired all wireless spectrum necessary; completed training of at least 823 employees; initiated field functionality testing on a segment from Summit to Denville; included an alternative schedule for implementing PTC as soon as practicable, but not later than Dec. 31, 2020; and certified to FRA, in writing, that NJ Transit will be in full compliance with the requirements on or before the deadline in the proposed alternative schedule.