North County Transit District customers may be surprised to see a short, two passenger — versus the typical five passenger — car set COASTER train pass through or stop at their station. This train, consisting of a NCTD locomotive and two empty passenger cars, is part of the Positive Train Control safety system testing and is not a passenger-carrying train.
“We have had instances of people trying to get on this test train when we ran it during the day,” said NCTD Deputy Chief of Rail Operations, Eric Roe. “Future testing will mostly be at night, but we want customers to know what it is in case they see it again at a station.”
NCTD is in the process of implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) that will enhance the safety of train operations on the coastal corridor. PTC helps to prevent accidents from human error. When a potential hazard is identified it has the capability of stopping a train if an engineer fails to do so.
The current testing of PTC on this train is part of the rigorous process of ensuring proper functionality of the technology and is a necessary step for full implementation on the coastal rail corridor. The PTC implementation process for NCTD began in 2008 and is expected to be completed in 2018.