NEWARK — NJ Transit said it has made progress in the installation of positive train control on its locomotives and that they are on target to complete installation by the end of 2018.

PTC can prevent runaway or speeding trains from crashing.

Citing a progress report for PTC installation by the Federal Railroad Administration for the 4th quarter of 2017, NorthJersey,com said that NJ Transit installed PTC on 35 locomotives by the end of 2017, falling short of a goal of 55 for the quarter. PTC must be installed on a total of 440 locomotives.

However, the report indicates that the installation goal was actually 33 for the fourth quarter, which would put NJ Transit two over their goal.

NJ Transit said that an agreement was reached to reduce the fourth quarter goal to 33 after the contractor ran into issues installing software on the locomotives.

"The contractor has identified software issues with the functionality of the PTC Apparatus and is working to identify a root cause of these issues. The contractor is prioritizing resolution of the software issue, and has committed to apply resources to support increased installation goals in 2018," NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder told New Jersey 101.5.

Snyder said that the contractor handling the installations will step up PTC installation at a second facility and by adding a second shift at its primary facility.  The contractor said all 440 locomotives will be ready by the December deadline.

She said that NJ Transit "continues to do everything within our power to meet the federal PTC implementation deadline."

Unnamed sources told Bloomberg in January that the difficulty in installing the software on older locomotives led to over 100 trains being cancelled over a two week period in January. The installation and testing was supposed to take a week before the locomotive returned to service but the problems kept them sidelined.

The report showed NJ Transit was behind in other areas,  including no installation of PTC on track installation and having just trained 143 of 1,100 employees.

The FRA in January proposed a $12,000 fine for NJ Transit for failing to meet its its own goals, according to

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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