Positive Train Control Finally Completed in Hudson Region

Posted: April 14, 2020 in In the News, Infrastructure, Public Safety, Transportation
Photo by Albin Berlin from Pexels

A Letter to the Editor from Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,Ref-Mahopac)

            In early March, the MTA and Metro-North completed full implementation of positive train control (PTC) on both the Hudson and Harlem lines. For those who have been following this issue closely, this is something that I have been pushing for consistently during our Joint Senate & Assembly Budget Hearings on Transportation every year since being appointed to the Transportation Committee in January 2018. In addition to speaking up at these public hearings, I was pleased to work with colleagues from both political parties from across the Hudson Valley in sending correspondence directly to the MTA and Metro-North, as well as attending demonstrations on PTC along the Metro-North Railroad to ensure our state received timely updates on the progress of this critical project.

            For those of you who are unfamiliar, the purpose of PTC is to prevent high-speed derailments. This is done by eliminating the possibility of human error through utilizing PTC technology to slow or stop trains which are either going too fast into a switch which has been misaligned or into a curve. The completed project includes all 74 miles of the Hudson line, which covers from Grand Central Terminal to Poughkeepsie, and all 82 miles of the Harlem line, which covers from Grand Central Terminal to Wassaic, including Goldens Bridge, Purdys, Croton Falls, Brewster, Southeast, and Patterson train stations.

            Throughout my time serving in the Assembly, I have been honored to join colleagues from across the aisle at both the state and federal level to communicate with leaders of the MTA and Metro-North, all to guarantee PTC was being completed as quickly as possible to ensure the safety of all our commuters. I fully realize that many New Yorkers must still wonder how it took so long to finally get here. After all, these projects have been talked about for well over a decade. This is certainly a fair point and is further evidence there is always room for improvement within our government.

            Despite it taking longer than expected, I am glad to report we have finally reached the point where full implementation of PTC has been completed for Westchester & Putnam counties while I have continued to serve as your representative in the state Assembly. I’d like to thank my colleagues at the county, state and federal level, as well as Metro-North Railroad President Cathy Rinaldi, for their increased communication and determination in getting this crucial project for public safety complete. 

Stay healthy and stay safe,

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne

New York’s 94th Assembly District

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne represents the 94th Assembly District, including portions of Westchester and Putnam Counties, served as co-chair of his conference’s task force on critical infrastructure & transportation (20018-2019), and continues to serve as a member of the governmental operations, health, insurance, labor, and transportation committees.

Previous work on PTC: