Positive Train Control

Union Pacific completed Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation on 100 percent of required rail lines including all required passenger train routes in mid December 2019. This means almost all Union Pacific trains operating on 17,056 PTC-mandated route miles are operating with PTC locomotives, a year before the congressional deadline. Its interoperability efforts will continue through 2020.

One of the most challenging parts of PTC implementation is ensuring system interoperability among all U.S. rail lines and locomotives. Union Pacific currently hosts 26 freight and passenger railroads, which must achieve PTC interoperability by December 2020. Twenty-four of these railroads are already compliant, encompassing 95% of Union Pacific's interoperable PTC train miles. While Union Pacific's infrastructure is PTC-ready, we are working to be PTC-interoperable with the remaining partner railroads. Our expectation is that they will take necessary steps to reach interoperability on our network by mid 2020.

Medium Retina | Inside Track: Main image for Union Pacific Brings 21st Cen Tech

Positive Train Control calculates train stopping distances and prompts locomotive engineers to slow down based on each train’s weight, length, speed and track terrain. The sophisticated safety system automatically stops trains if engineers do not respond in a timely manner, preventing certain accidents caused by human error including train-to-train collisions.