Positive Train Control (PTC) Progress Report

Passengers waiting for train

DCTA is committed to rail safety and is working diligently to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) deadline. 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

DCTA has finished testing of its PTC technology and the FRA has approved the agency's Revenue Service Demonstration (RSD) application. DCTA is currently operating in RSD (PTC turned on) on select train runs. DCTA is the first transit agency in Texas to have RSD on its entire territory. As of December 31, 2018, the agency has met the federally-mandated deadline to be in RSD for consideration of its alternate schedule request. 

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. DCTA expects the FRA to certify its PTC technology by June 2020.

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

A-train Service Modifications during PTC Testing & IMPLEMENTATION

DCTA has identified temporary A-train service modifications in order to maintain the agency’s progress on PTC testing/implementation. Effective Friday, January 18, the agency will begin running the two Friday evening schedules and first Saturday morning schedule as RSD for PTC testing, but without any passengers.The head sign on the A-train vehicles will state “Out of Service.” 

Although passengers will be able to see DCTA trains running, those schedules are still out of service and not in revenue operation for people to ride. The suspended RSD trains will continue up until DCTA’s next service change, in which all agency trains will be in RSD. The agency encourages riders who typically utilize these specific A-train schedules to make plans to board an alternate train.

Below are the Friday and Saturday schedules that will be affected:

Friday A-train RSD Trains/Out of Service

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 RSD Trains/Out of Service

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

  • Currently in RSD (started January 2019)
  • DCTA expects the FRA to certify its PTC technology by June 2020

*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.*