Freight Operator Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company to begin Positive Train Control testing in the North Bay | Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit

Freight Operator to Begin Positive Train Control Testing in the North Bay

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 11:30am
Freight operator Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company will begin testing its Positive Train Control (PTC) system Thursday, March 29, 2018 to meet Federal Railroad Administration requirements.


Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company, which operates on portions of track owned by SMART, will conduct testing in the Novato, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, and Windsor areas during overnight hours. All freight testing will be conducted when SMART trains are not operating.

The freight operator will begin its first phase of testing between Hanna Ranch Road in Novato and SMART’s Haystack Bridge in Petaluma. During this phase of testing, the use of the locomotive’s train horn will be required at all crossings that are not a part of established quiet zones, including crossings north of Rush Creek Place in Novato, through the Haystack Bridge in Petaluma.

The first phase of freight PTC testing will continue to take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9:30 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., and Saturdays and Sundays between 9:30 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. continuing through mid-April, depending on test results. The freight PTC testing will then continue north to Petaluma, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa and portions of Windsor.

Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company estimates that it will take up to six months to complete the PTC testing.

SMART reminds the public to be alert and aware at all railroad crossings and near railroad tracks and trains. For more rail safety tips, visit SMART’s safety website at