Tech mahindra
Tech mahindra

Positive Train Control (PTC)

  • In 2008, the U.S. Government introduced legislation that requires the implementation of improved safety measures in the rail sector by 2015
  • The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 as enacted by Congress, requires all Class I railroads and passenger rail operators to implement a mandatory Positive Train Control (PTC) collision avoidance system by December 31st, 2015
  • The technology must be installed on all mainline track where intercity passenger railroads and commuter railroads operate, as well as on lines carrying toxic-by-inhalation hazardous materials
  • PTC is the single-largest regulatory cost ever imposed on the industry by the Federal Railroad Administration, according to the AAR

PTC is a predictive collision avoidance technology that can stop a train before an accident occurs. Because of its complex design and requirements, PTC is not an off-the-shelf system or software application that can be implemented quickly. The primary PTC functions:

  • Prevent train to train collisions
  • Prevent over-speed derailments
  • Prevent incursions into work zone limits
  • Prevent movements through a switch left in the wrong position
  • Provide interoperability between PTC systems of different railroads

PTC system provides public benefits through a reduction in risk to railroad passengers and railroad employees and would potentially improve the efficiency of the national railroad network.

Positive Train Control PTC architecture - Tech Mahindra

With the deadline for PTC deployment getting closer, railroads, commuters and transits require solutions across all phases of PTC Planning and implementation.

As shown in above representative diagram, PTC system consists of following components.

  • PTC back office server
  • PTC onboard system
  • PTC wayside interface unit
  • PTC communication

PTC back office server - Consists of one or more Back Office Server(s) (BOS). It interfaces with other railroad back office systems or applications, the railroad dispatch system and the Locomotive and Communications segments.

PTC onboard system - Consists of onboard systems (hardware and software) which enhance safety by interfacing with locomotive control equipments capable of accepting directives, manage speed limit mandates, braking, better communication systems, dedicated PTC display.

PTC wayside interface unit - Monitors and reports switch position, signal indications, or status of other monitored wayside devices directly to the Locomotive Segment and Office Segment using one or more radio networks.

PTC communication - Consists of a messaging system, hardware and multiple wired and wireless networks through which messages are exchanged between the Locomotive, Wayside and Office Segments.

Partnership with Rail Engineering company (subsidiary of North America’s largest freight railroad)

We have partnered with PS Technology, a subsidiary of the largest rail operator in North America, to bring railroad specific product offerings and system integration services to other railroads and commuters globally. This partnership would address the industry challenges, by bringing a unique value to the table by leveraging their rail domain, engineering and enterprise business expertise.

Our in-depth expertise in railroad vertical

We have been serving global rail customers in freight, passenger and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) segment for over 14 years. In the railroad industry we have helped build core rail domain competencies and attain a unique position in railroad industry. Our strength is our combination of extensive rail knowledge with practical IT solutions.

Due to our association with major Class 1 railroads in North America and rail technology OEMs, we have been an early adopter of PTC implementation initiatives. By anticipating the industry needs, we have evolved as a strong system integrator in railroad and are amongst a handful of technology vendors in the railroad industry that have delivered services in all PTC segments such as back office, wayside communication and locomotive segments.

Our ongoing work with the rail industry in North America includes back office integration with various segments of PTC, systems management, Interoperable Train Committee (ITC) requirements management and traceability to Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA’s) PTC specifications, wayside system upgrade, end-to-end system integration or acceptance testing and program management. We have proven expertise in developing standalone or integrated applications to meet PTC compliance.

We have been system integrators in various capacities as mentioned here, but not limited to:

  • System Integrator for ITC: We help in managing the industry requirements through this committee formed by major railroads in US
  • PTC integration Testing : We have set up an industry leading testing practice for PTC, through which we enable railroads to plan and execute the PTC testing for safety enhancement
  • We have partnered with the only industry player in developing systems management systems for interoperable communications between assets. With this expertise we enable railroads to design, development, integrate ion and testing of high availability communications system
  • MIS and BOS support: By working through various business requirements of Class 1 Rail road and FRA requirements. We integrate back office to business applications for Class 1 Railroad
  • We are well versed in railroad PTC requirements and have over 300 engineers focused on PTC development, integration and testing
  • PTC program management
  • PTC readiness assessment
  • PTC professional services
    • Safety consultancy
    • Requirement definition and management
    • Architecture design and support
    • Application design and development
    • System engineering
    • Technical publication
    • PTC testing and validation
  • Segment testing
  • Nearest neighbor testing
  • End-to-end testing
  • Field integration testing
  • Field qualification testing
  • Commissioning
  • PTC system integration
    • Railroad asset management
    • Installation services
  • Training and simulation solutions
  • PTC hardware – design, development and customizations
  • PTC software – design, development and customizations
  • PTC maintenance and support services


Benefit from Tech Mahindra in-depth expertise in railroad vertical and partnership with PS Technology as we are geared towards offering the best in class Positive Train Control (PTC) Services. For more information, email us or contact us here

Tech Mahindra Positive Train Control Solutions and Services

For further information please write to

For further information please write to