LIRR begins Positive Train Control installation; part of $1B safety upgrade

Posted: Updated:

The Long Island Rail Road this weekend began installing Positive Train Control, technology that can help avoid future disasters in emergency situations.

PTC is a computer-controlled system that can slow or stop a train during an emergency. The railroad started its implementation on the Oyster Bay line.

"They've been talking about it for a long time and I'm glad to see it being implemented," said Peter Haynes, of the LIRR Commuters Campaign. "They can't do it fast enough."

Haynes says the new technology will improve service and efficiency. He says it would have also prevented deadly accidents, like the 2016 NJ Transit train crash that killed one woman standing at the station platform, the 2015 Amtrak crash in Philadelphia that killed eight people, and the 2013 crash in the Bronx that killed four people.

MTA officials say PTC involves a complex system of GPS satellites and ground-sensor data installed on the tracks and on trains that communicate with each other to automatically slow down or stop a train if it's going too fast, or is about to hit another train. 

Installing the technology on LIRR and Metro-North railroads will be paid for with a nearly $1 billion federal loan. The MTA insists the cost will not affect fares. 

The LIRR has to finish installing the PTC technology by the federal deadline of December 2018 or face fines of up to $25,000 a day. 

LIRR customers are urged to check their schedules along the Oyster Bay branch while the installation process is completed.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."