The Long Island Rail Road was not listed among those...

The Long Island Rail Road was not listed among those deemed "at risk of not fully implementing a PTC system" by year's end. In this undated photo, transponders were being installed on the Montauk line. Credit: MTA

Federal regulators do not believe the Long Island Rail Road is at risk of missing a December deadline to install required crash prevention technology throughout its system, according to a new report.

The Federal Railroad Administration on Thursday released its latest report on the progress made by the 42 rail systems required to complete installation of “positive train control,” or PTC, this year — or risk paying fines of up to around $29,000 a day.

The report listed eight railroads deemed “at risk of not fully implementing a PTC system” by year’s end, and did not include the LIRR on that list.

“The vast majority of railroads mandated to deploy and operate interoperable PTC systems have shown significant progress,” FRA administrator Ronald Batory said in a statement.

The vote of confidence from federal regulators comes despite several lingering issues that must be resolved for the LIRR to comply with the federal mandate for PTC, which uses technology on trains and along tracks to automatically slow down or stop a train if it violates a signal. The MTA is paying about $1 billion to install the technology on the LIRR and sister-railroad Metro-North.

News surfaced earlier this month of problems getting the PTC systems of the LIRR and Amtrak to work together. Those interoperability issues are not expected to be resolved until July 2021, seven months past the federal deadline.

However, LIRR and Amtrak have said they are working on an interim solution to allow both railroads to be legally compliant.

According to the FRA report, the LIRR had completed employee training, and installed all needed hardware on trains and along tracks as of Dec. 31. PTC is functional for about 35% of the LIRR tracks, according to the report.

“We remain on schedule to meet that December 2020 deadline for compliance,” LIRR president Phillip Eng said Monday.

The FRA also did not include Amtrak on its list of at-risk railroads. But NJ Transit, which shares use of Penn Station with the LIRR and Amtrak, did make the list. The FRA reported NJ Transit’s progress in installing PTC throughout its 317 miles of track at “0.0%.”

The report noted that, while several rail systems, such as Philadelphia’s SEPTA, have put in place PTC, “significant work remains as only 54.7% of commuter railroads’ cumulative required route miles were PTC-governed” by the end of 2019.

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