Positive Train Control

Quick Facts

  • Improved operational efficiency of track forces and dispatching
  • Improved locomotive performance and operating costs
  • Reduced-cost system expansions


Positive Train Control Datasheet

Did You Know

A mix of train-control technologies is used by the rail industry to manage their operations. This can complicate the precise monitoring and control of trains as they move from one geographic area to another. ARINC is working with the railroads on a PTC enhancement that uses a common, onboard IT platform, allowing trains to operate smoothly as they move throughout this mixed control system environment. The technology is in the advanced testing and initial deployment phase.

Railroad TrainIncreasing numbers of trains on the tracks have resulted in more mainline rail congestion. Consequently, ensuring high levels of safety, improving the efficiency of rail operations, and expanding system capacity are all key objectives of today's railroad industry.

ARINC is playing a key role in helping the industry meet these objectives through the development of advanced railroad communications and control systems, including positive train control (PTC).

A PTC system can track the location and speed of a train more accurately than was previously possible, provide movement authorities to trains based on this precise information, and enforce speeds and limits of authority, as necessary. By providing better tracking of train location and speed, PTC increases operational efficiency, allows higher track capacity, enhances crew safety, and results in a safer environment for personnel working on the track.

Since 1985, ARINC has been the systems engineering contractor for the rail industry in the development of PTC technology and related rail systems-integration solutions. Currently, ARINC leads the systems engineering team for the North American Joint Positive Train Control (NAJPTC) program, a joint project of freight railroads, Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Illinois Department of Transportation, and the Association of American Railroads' Transportation Technology Center Inc. ARINC also provides technical support to NAJPTC's program to implement PTC on a high-speed rail corridor in Illinois.