DCTA's Positive Train Control Progress Report

DCTA Positive Train Control Progress Report

DCTA is committed to rail safety and is working diligently to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) deadline of December 31, 2018. PTC was designed to prevent collisions and other incidents by automatically detecting and controlling the movement of trains.

After multiple attempts to find a financially viable solution to implement PTC with the input of outside consulting firms, DCTA decided to take a different approach. Critical to the success of DCTA’s new approach was the solicitation of industry feedback in the development of the technical approach to implement PTC, as well as seizing opportunities presented by the specific characteristics of the agency’s A-train system.

More information about PTC and the public transit industry is available on the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) website here.

dcta PTC technology SYSTEM TYPE

DCTA has installed Enhanced Automatic Train Control (E-ATC) which is a type of PTC system that uses an underlying automatic train control (ATC) system in conjunction with other “enhanced” features or systems to achieve the core required functionalities of PTC. The E-ATC system is designed to ensure train movement over properly aligned track switches, prevent over speeding, prevent trains from running past stop signals and align train movements with restrictive operating conditions caused due to track and road crossing conditions.


E-ATC also allows DCTA to leverage its fiber networks that enhance its existing signal system.


Current Status of PTC Implementation

All wayside (signal) and onboard (on the car) equipment were installed by January 2018. DCTA completed static testing and dynamic testing has been ongoing since July 22, 2018. DCTA is the first public transit agency in Texas to begin testing on PTC.

The agency is diligently working with the FRA to implement PTC within the federally mandated requirements, and is currently listed by the FRA as one of the top third of public transit agencies for PTC implementation progress.

Want more information on DCTA's PTC installation and implementation status? Click here to download agency's PTC presentation.

A-train Service Modifications during PTC Testing

DCTA has identified temporary A-train service modifications in order to maintain the agency’s progress on Positive Train Control (PTC) testing. DCTA plans to suspend the last two trains on Friday evenings and the first train on Saturday mornings, effective May 18, to accommodate the required testing.

We encourage riders who typically utilize these specific A-train schedules make plans to board an alternate schedule. PTC testing will commence on Friday, May 18, 2018, and may continue through November 2018. The following A-train schedules will be suspended until PTC testing is complete:

Friday A-train Cancellation

Train # Green Line (Departs) Trinity Mills Station Hebron Station Old Town Station HV/LL Station MedPark Station DDTC (Arrives)
5964 10:24 p.m. 10:30 p.m. 10:35 p.m. 10:40 p.m. 10:46 p.m. 10:57 p.m.

11:02 p.m.


Train # DDTC (Departs) MedPark Station HV/LL Station Old Town Station Hebron Station Trinity Mills Station Green Line (Departs)
5963 11:15 p.m. 11:20 p.m. 11:31 p.m. 11:37 p.m. 11:42 p.m. 11:47 p.m.

11:59 p.m.*


Saturday A-train Cancellations

Train # Green Line (Arrives) Trinity Mills Station Hebron Station Old Town Station HV/LL Station MedPark Station DDTC (Arrives)
5370 - - - 7:40 a.m. 7:46 a.m. 7:57 a.m.

8:02 a.m.


*Green Line train terminates before Buckner Station. Visit dart.org for the full DART schedule.

Riders who want to monitor A-train schedule updates, sign up for our Rider Alerts. To view A-train schedules in real time, learn more about DCTA’s Transit Tracker and download the Transit mobile application, click here.

PTC Implementation Next Steps and Estimated Completion

  • Formal application submitted to the FRA for Revenue Service Demonstration (RSD)
  • On track to enter RSD by December 31, 2018

*All completion dates are dependent on several factors, including: FRA approval, required testing completions and many other factors that directly or indirectly effect the completion dates. DCTA is working diligently to meet all testing completion dates.*