ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Federal Railroad Administration has notified the New Mexico Rail Runner Express that its Positive Train Control (PTC) system has been approved and conditionally certified. According to a press release, this means that the commuter train operator has met the end-of-the year deadline for installing the $60-million federally mandated safety enhancement.

“The Federal Railroad Administration is very pleased to announce that the New Mexico Rail Runner has completed all the necessary steps to fully implement PTC,” said FRA Administrator Ronald Batory in a press release. “We (FRA) have conditionally certified the Rail Runner’s PTC system and recognize its significant accomplishment in meeting the year-end deadline.”

The Mid-Region Council of Governments states that PTC is a federally mandated safety enhancement that is designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, high-speed derailments on reduced speed curves, operations through a misaligned witch, and incursions into active work zones. The Rio Metro Regional Transit District, which operates the Rail Runner, started installing the system on the train’s 100-mile corridor in April 2019.

“After undergoing months of rigorous testing, the FRA has given us the green light and we are confident that this new system will provide an additional level of safety for our passengers,” said Rio Metro Director Terry Doyle in a press release. “This also means that all trains that operate in the Rail Runner’s territory will now be protected by PTC.”

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway also runs freight trains on the line daily and Amtrak operates regular passenger service in the corridor.

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