Union Pacific continues to make strides implementing positive train control (PTC). Accomplishments in the third quarter 2017 include:

  • Preparing 31 additional track segments for PTC operations, bringing the total number of track segments to 135 (73% complete). These 31 track segments are equipped with wayside devices (signals, switches and radios) and have defined GPS coordinates, which identify thousands of precise locations for systemwide PTC coordination.
  • Educating more than 2,800 additional employees on PTC operations, bringing the total number of employees trained to about 18,800 (59%). Training materials are tailored to a variety of employee roles, including engineer, conductor, dispatcher, maintenance of way/engineering, mechanical, signal, telecom and information technologies.
  • Increasing by 1,700 the number of route miles in PTC operation, bringing the total number of route miles in PTC operations to 7,559 (43%).

Additional progress includes:

  • 79% of required locomotives are equipped with PTC technology.
  • 87% of required radio towers are equipped with PTC technology.

Third Quarter 2017 System Update

Developing and implementing a PTC system is a multi-dimensional process requiring a cross-functional, systemwide approach. Union Pacific’s PTC system consists of multiple technologies functioning together to constantly monitor and manage train movements. These involve integrating signal and telecom elements; GPS; wayside, base station and locomotive radios; antennas and satellites – all to predict whether the train crew should be alerted to take action or if the technology should take control to slow or stop the train.

Through September 30, Union Pacific:

  • Installed 98 percent, or 17,130 miles, of required route miles with PTC signal hardware.
  • Partially installed PTC hardware on 94 percent of its 5,656 locomotives earmarked for the technology.
  • Equipped 3,681 locomotives with PTC hardware and software.
  • Installed over 99 percent of the wayside antennas needed to support PTC along the company’s right of way.

Union Pacific plans to spend about $300 million on PTC in 2017 toward the current total estimated $2.9 billion cost.