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LIRR Set To Finish Safety Installations Ahead Of Schedule

Kathy Willens
The Long Island Railroad will soon have technology to limit speeding.

The MTA says the new positive train control system is operational on 98% of Long Island Rail Road, six weeks ahead of deadline. 

The Federal Railroad Administration required crash-prevention technology for the Long Island Rail Road to be installed throughout the 305 miles of track by the end of the year, or risk massive, daily fines.

Phillip Eng is the LIRR president. He says the finish line is in sight as the final 5-mile stretch of track is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month.

Congress ordered positive train control to present rail collisions after a California crash over a decade ago. PTC uses communications and technology to slow down or halt trains that violate signals.

The LIRR was granted extensions twice from the original federal deadline to install the PTC. Railroads in violation risk fines of as much as $28,000 dollars.

All Metro-North trains on the Harlem, Hudson and Danbury Branch are operating under PTC. On the New Haven Line and its New Canaan Branch, the railroad has completed testing the PTC software and is obtaining the safety certification that will allow trains to enter PTC operations at the end of the month.