Employee Spotlight

Positive Train Control, also known as PTC, is a federally mandated safety system designed to automatically stop a train to prevent accidents including collisions and derailments. BETA is pleased to play a role in the important work that the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) has been implementing through its Positive Train Control (PTC) program. Since 2015, Lead Scientist Emily Marble has been working as the Document Control Manager, assisting the MBTA with oversight through administration and technical support.

As part of the Program Management Team (PMT), Emily manages the official Document Control System and the contract deliverable review process for the program. As the longest-serving member of the PMT, Emily has witnessed the progression from conceptual design to installation, as well as quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) testing and commissioning.

The MBTA’s PTC system involves on-board controls, wayside signals, system-wide communications, and a centralized network dispatch location. The MBTA is currently implementing PTC on the Commuter Rail, which consists of 14 routes, 138 stations, and 400 track miles. The rail carries approximately 130,000 passengers throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island every day.

The MBTA PTC project impacts every element of the system – the tracks, hardware and software, signal houses, antennae, radios, and more. According to MBTA general manager Steve Poftak, “Positive Train Control is without question the most significant investment we are making to upgrade the safety of our Commuter Rail system.”

The MBTA is working to have the PTC system fully operational on the Commuter Rail by the end of 2020. When the PTC project concludes, Emily looks forward to working on other impactful projects as a Lead Scientist in BETA’s Environmental Services division.

Emily has a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is an active member of the Trustees of Reservations, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving natural and historical places in Massachusetts. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, music, learning new recipes, and being outside. A Registered Yoga Teacher, Emily strives to always stay curious and never stop trying new things.