Installing Positive Train Control (PTC) on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief was among 11 projects in 10 states that received grants from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) this week to assist with deploying the safety systems.
The FRA awarded $46.3 million for the projects, marking the second time funding was provided in Fiscal Year 2018 for PTC systems deployment projects under the Consolidated Appropriations Act and via the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program. Overall, FRA has awarded $250 million in funding.
All funding will benefit passenger rail, with about 31 percent – or $14 million – benefiting rural projects.
Up to $9,157,600 is earmarked for PTC installation for the Southwest Chief on BNSF Railway through Colorado and Kansas. The Colorado Department of Transportation project, in collaboration with the Kansas Department of Transportation and BNSF, includes the design, installation and testing of I-ETMS PTC wayside technology on approximately 179 miles of a predominantly single-track route between Dodge City, KS, and Las Animas, CO.
FRA also awarded grants to the following programs and entities:
Texas – Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) for its E-ATC PTC Wayside Installation Project (up to $5,957,151) for the design, installation, and verification of the Enhanced Automatic Train Control PTC wayside system on the new tracks along Capital Metro’s Red Line in Austin, Cedar Park, Leander and the surrounding Texas communities. The new project spans a 21-mile section along the Red Line on Capital Metro’s commuter rail corridor.
Illinois – Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (Metra) for PTC Kits and Spare Parts for 24 Additional Locomotives at Metra (up to $2,058,163). The project includes purchasing and installing onboard I-ETMS PTC equipment on Metra’s 24 recently purchased locomotives.
New Mexico – Rio Metro Regional Transit District (Rio Metro) for restoring the New Mexico Rail Runner Express system’s Wi-Fi network from an end-of-life, proprietary WiMAX system to a cross-compatible Long-Term Evolution (LTE) system, providing a redundant path of communication for its I-ETMS PTC system (up to $2,496,842). The project includes installation of 26 towers along the 96 miles of the NMRX system between Belen, NM, and Santa Fe, NM, including approximately 74 miles of the Albuquerque Subdivision and 22 miles of the Santa Fe Subdivision. Nine NMRX cab cars, 13 coach cars and 15 NMRX stations will be equipped with the Wi-Fi technology necessary for its PTC system.
California – Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Caltrain) for PTC Configuration Management and Office Segment Failover (up to $3,976,560). The money is for implementing Caltrain’s I-ETMS PTC system and funding the completion of a Caltrain PTC Configuration Management Plan and PTC Data Management Procedure; development of a CM tool that generates an audit trail for changes to configuration data and CM training on the configuration control and CM process; completion of the backup central control facility and Central Control Facility Failover Design and Test Plan; and completion of the design, test results, and as-built system for an Emergency Operation Center at the existing BCCF in Menlo Park, CA.
California – Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA or Metrolink) for Leveraging PTC to Increase Capacity and Reduce Headways and Alternative Vendor Analysis (up to $3,150,000). This project will include a study for leveraging PTC to increase capacity and reduce headways, software development, PTC component upgrades, and/or corridor infrastructure upgrades to support the future implementation of Higher Reliability and Capacity Train Control along Metrolink’s congested Orange County Line from Los Angeles Union Station to Oceanside, CA.
Alaska – Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) for GPS Precision Upgrade for PTC (up to $2,530,618). ARRC will procure a platform with software to improve the accuracy and functionality of the global positioning system in ARRC’s locomotives and on-track equipment, and implement the vital functions for its Interoperable Electronic Train Management System.
Massachusetts – Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) for MBTA PTC Implementation (up to $7,548,335). This project on the Needham Branch, Franklin Branch and Worcester Line, includes two components: 1) Testing of Automatic Train Control, where the previously installed PTC/ATC equipment on each line is already wired, and the software is loaded, connected to the signal system, and activated. Testing is intended to confirm the equipment functions as designed and is ready for testing with a test train; 2) “Completion of Commissioning for the ATC Lines,” where final acceptance testing is performed, including interoperability and ATC system testing.
North Carolina – North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) for NCDOT Rolling Stock PTC Commissioning (up to $584,080). The project includes installing, testing, commissioning, and certifying I-ETMS PTC onboard technology on three NCDOT locomotives for operation in the Piedmont intercity passenger rail service, which operates between Raleigh and Charlotte, NC.
New Jersey – New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJT) for PTC Installation on Multilevel Cab Cars (up to $6,542,353). This project will install and test Advanced Speed Enforcement System II PTC onboard equipment on 33 new NJT multilevel cab cars for deployment along the Northeast Corridor, Montclair-Boonton, and Morris & Essex Lines in New Jersey.
New York – NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for MTA Metro-North Railroad PTC Communications Testing (up to $2,300,000). This project will involve PTC system testing to measure communications system performance to predict, identify, and replicate communications issues affecting MTA’s Metro-North Railroad’s operations, as well as develop and validate mitigation approaches to address communications challenges along the Northeast Corridor.