Important Update on Positive Train Control Implementation

Jun 13, 2018

We wanted to inform you about recent action we have taken regarding the Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation deadline. Federal law requires that railroads have PTC installed and operating on all mandated subdivisions by December 31, 2018. We previously announced that BNSF had fully installed and was operating under PTC as of December 2017. Today, we announced that we nonetheless submitted a request to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for a two-year extension of the PTC deadline. The extension is required due to the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) current interpretation of the law to mean that full implementation status cannot be achieved until all non-BNSF trains and/or equipment operating on our PTC-equipped lines are also PTC-compliant.

As we reported, BNSF completed the installation of all mandated PTC infrastructure at the end of 2017, including 88 required subdivisions covering more than 11,500 route miles on our network. However, to be considered fully implemented requires that all other railroads operating across any of BNSF's PTC-equipped lines must be capable of operating with BNSF's PTC system. This interoperability of PTC systems between Class I, commuter and short line rail carriers remains a challenge.

BNSF has successfully demonstrated interoperability with several railroads that operate on our network, including commuter railroads and Amtrak. However, not all railroads that operate on BNSF will have completed their PTC installation by the end of 2018.

PTC provides another layer of safety to our already robust safety program. Even with this request for a deadline extension, BNSF is currently running, and will continue to run, more than a thousand trains daily with PTC as we continue to refine the system and resolve technological challenges.

We will continue to provide updates regarding this request and PTC implementation.


Steve Bobb
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Dave Freeman
Executive Vice President, Operations