Metra has begun what is referred to as Revenue Service Demonstration (RSD) of the new Positive Train Control (PTC) safety system on the Rock Island Line, the final stage before full implementation along the route. PTC is a federally mandated system that will automatically stop the train if the engineer fails to obey a signal or exceeds the speed limit. This phase involves running some trains in regular service with PTC switched on to demonstrate the system is working as intended. We have designed a new Rock Island schedule with the expectation that the demonstration will succeed and we can fully implement PTC on the line in January. (We want your feedback on that proposed schedule. For details, click here.)
We do not anticipate any major delays due to PTC while it is being demonstrated and after it is fully implemented. But because PTC is an incredibly complex system that involves numerous components on the train, along the tracks and in the back office that must constantly communicate with each other, and because it is a new system for our engineers and maintainers to learn, it would be unrealistic to promise that there will not be minor glitches and minor delays, particularly in the early days of implementation.
We ask for your patience and understanding as we bring this important new safety upgrade to theline.