NJT boss to Trains Magazine: Carrier has a way to go to meet PTC deadline

Published: September 26, 2019

In an interview with Trains Magazine’s Ralph Spielman, New Jersey Transit (NJT) President and CEO Kevin Corbett said that the passenger carrier has much progress to make in its implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) in order to meet the deadline for full implementation.

The carrier is currently in the testing phase of its system, especially the software, Corbett said, but the deadline isn’t far away.

“As it gets closer to the deadline, it’s a little bit like the Y2K scare. On Jan. 1, 2021, what’s going to happen? Will it impact scheduling? Will there be less flexibility? You won’t be able necessarily have someone run from the back to the front air brake for a quick mechanical fix. The software will be dependable and will mold the schedule, but with it, you cannot cut corners inappropriately. A lot of the veterans would say they would know how to respond safely [but] the thing is now it all has to be reset; It’s all in the software,” Corbett told Spielman.

All U.S. carriers are required to achieve full PTC function by Dec. 31, 2020.

Corbett also discussed recent equipment acquisitions by the carrier and the status of the North Portal Bridge project.

The entire exclusive interview is available on the Trains Magazine website. A subscription is required to access the full version.