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Commuter Rail Safety and Resiliency Program

PTC ATC

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    Delay up to 20 minutes
    On weekdays, now through February, 8 am - 4 pm, Fitchburg Line passengers may experience delays up to 20 minutes in both directions due to fiber optic implementation work as part of the Commuter Rail Safety and Resiliency Program.

Positive Train Control (PTC) Automatic Train Control (ATC)

The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires every railroad across the country to have Positive Train Control (PTC).

As of August 2020, we completed Phase I of the Commuter Rail Safety and Resiliency Program. The MBTA PTC safety system is now active on all MBTA Commuter Rail lines. Phase II, which includes implementing Automatic Train Control (ATC), and Phase III are now underway.

Building a Better T

As part of our $9.6 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.

Learn more

In Progress

Phase II: Automatic Train Control (ATC) (2020 – 2024)

Phase II includes implementation of Commuter Rail Automatic Train Control (ATC) as part of the MBTA PTC System.

  • Phase II for Commuter Rail Lines out of South Station: Successfully completed on time in 2020
  • Phase II for Commuter Rail Lines out of North Station: Currently underway

Automatic Train Control Implementation Progress

Progress map of phase 2 with most complete and installation underway

Phase II Photo Gallery

Recorded Project Update

Phase III: Fiber Optic Resiliency (FOR) (2022 – 2025)

This project will create a buried, fiber optic cable network for signals, communications, and PTC systems between or alongside Commuter Rail tracks where aerial systems exist today.

Fiber Optic Resiliency Project Progress

A map of fiber optic work a part of phase 3. The map shows fiber installation is underway along a portion of the Fitchburg Line and that there are plans to bury fiber optic cables along the Lowell line and another portion of the Fitchburg Line.

Complete

Phase I: Positive Train Control (PTC) (2017 – 2020)

The MBTA PTC system implements the Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System (ACSES), a proven system used by all systems on the Amtrak Northeast Corridor which runs through eight states from Washington DC up to Boston.

PTC on the MBTA Commuter Rail System

PTC System Mapping

The MBTA is in full compliance FRA PTC regulations, completing the PTC System prior to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) deadline of December 31, 2020.

  • PTC is in operation on all of the MBTA’s Commuter Rail lines (394 of 394 route miles)—we placed the last segment in service on August 15, 2020.
  • PTC equipment is installed and fully operational on all MBTA Commuter Rail revenue vehicles.
  • We completed interoperability testing with tenant railroads (Amtrak, CSX, and Pan Am).

Phase I Timeline

Phase I Photo Gallery

Past Events

View all events

Contact Information

For all queries and comments related to Commuter Rail Positive Train Control, please contact the PTC Hotline at PTCProgram@mbta.com or 617-721-7506.

Recent Updates

View all project updates

Building a Better T

As part of our $9.6 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.

Learn more

Recent Updates

View all project updates