Safety Advisories

September 2, 2021: (SA) Notice of Safety Advisory – PTC Interface Design Issue

FRA has issued Safety Advisory 2021-01. The purpose of this advisory is to inform the rail industry of a recently identified interface design issue. The issue relates to how the positive train control (PTC) systems interface with locomotive and cab car braking systems.
With the current design, crewmembers are able to circumvent PTC enforcement. They are able to do this by manually cutting out the pilot valve/brake stand before the system initiates the brakes.
Railroads should remind crewmembers that circumventing PTC enforcement is subject to civil penalty or disqualification for the crewmember responsible. FRA is urging railroads to develop and implement a plan to correct the design issue. They should provide FRA with a plan of action and schedule of completion.

Safety Advisory 2021–01

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