Denton County Trains First in Texas to Test Safety Equipment - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Denton County Trains First in Texas to Test Safety Equipment

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Denton Trains Are First in Texas to Test Safety Technology

    Public transportation agencies across the country are racing the clock to install and test mandated safety equipment installed or face possible shutdown. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018)

    Public transportation agencies across the country are racing the clock to install and test mandated safety equipment installed or face possible shutdown.

    The National Transportation Safety Board says the technology, called “positive train control,” is meant to prevent potentially deadly accidents, and should be fully implemented on trains by the end of the year.

    PTC uses wireless technology and GPS, allowing train computers, as well as train operators, to communicate with one another to avoid collisions. The equipment also alerts operators when they are going too fast and shoots alerts when they are approaching a problem on the track. The equipment can bring the train to a safe stop.

    The Denton County Transportation Authority said it is well on the way to keeping trains on the tracks. Their trains had PTC technology installed at the beginning of the year and testing started in May. The testing will continue throughout September. DCTA was the first public transit agency in Texas to start testing.

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    According to DCTA officials, the agency started early and chose to move forward with installing PTC technology (Enhanced Automatic Train Control/E-ATC).

    “This was the right PTC technology system for DCTA to install on the A-train that eliminated complexities by allowing us to leverage fiber networks and enhance our existing signal system,” Raymond Suarez, DCTA Chief Operating Officer said via e-mail.

    DCTA released video of the PTC testing to NBC 5 showing employees on the A-train exceeding the speed limit for a section of track. The equipment starts beeping and when the operator ignores it, the train comes to a stop.

    Elsewhere in North Texas, the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) is moving forward to complete installation and testing before the Dec. 31 deadline.

    TRE issued the following update:

    • 53 percent of on board hardware installation
    • 100 percent of wayside hardware installation
    • 100 percent back office hardware installation
    • Back office software installation: scheduled to be installed in August
    • 100 percent procurement of spectrum (ready to use)
    • Progress on training: date TBD
    • Pre-field testing has begun

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    TEXRail faces a separate PTC implementation timeline.

    The following is an update for TEXRail:

    • On board hardware installation: begins in October
    • 100 percent of wayside hardware installation
    • 100 percent back office hardware installation
    • Back office software installation: date TBD
    • 100 percent procurement of spectrum (ready to use)

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