The US Department of Transport have announced that they will be funding $197 million worth of grant funding to help commuter and intercity passenger railroads meet the December 2018 positive train control deadline. This money will be allocated to 17 projects in 13 states despite the fact that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) received 27 applications requesting $455 million in total. The grants under this programme will be used to install PTC technology, including back office systems and wayside, communications, and onboard hardware equipment associated with railroads’ PTC systems. The latest data, as of December 31, 2016, confirms freight railroads now have PTC active on just 16 percent of tracks required to be equipped with PTC systems—up from 12 percent last quarter. Passenger rail has made less progress—with a slight increase to 24 percent from 23 percent.
“Today’s announcement means that commuter railroads can move forward with the implementation of an important rail safety feature,” said Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Executive Director Matthew Welbes.
“The number of passengers depending on rail has increased dramatically, which means PTC is needed now more than ever,” said Patrick Warren, FRA Executive Director. “This funding will get us closer to PTC implementation on some of the most significant railroads in the country that transport several million passengers to and from work every day.”
Grants will be awarded in the amounts stated below to the following commuter railroads and state and regional transportation entities:
1. Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB) – California
$21.68 million to dual equip seven Caltrain trains with the Incremental Train Control System (ITCS) and Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS) PTC systems for approximately 32 miles from south of San Jose to Gilroy, California, on Union Pacific Railroad (UP) territory by December 31, 2018.
2. Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) – California
$3.2 million to develop, test, and deploy tools and processes to improve the reliability, efficiency, and security of SCRRA’s Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS) PTC system, with an upgrade from a non-vital PTC system to a vital overlay system across 249 miles of rail line in the greater Los Angeles region of southern California.
3. Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) – Florida
$1.84 million to implement Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS) PTC system along 110 miles of the Central Florida Rail Corridor (CFRC) in the Orlando, Florida region. The project components include a computer-aided dispatch system, track database, and communication network.
4. South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) – Florida
$31.63 million to complete installing SFRTA’s Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I‐ETMS) PTC system—which consists of wayside interface units, near side station controls, base radio stations, a back office server, on‐board PTC kits, and a crew training simulator—on the South Florida Rail Corridor.
5. Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) – Illinois
$18.87 million to complete the design, delivery, installation, and testing of a fully integrated Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS) PTC system on two routes for Amtrak’s use on 14.7 route miles of Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) right‑of way in a dense urban area of St. Louis on both the Illinois and Missouri banks of the Mississippi River. Amtrak ridership figures for 2014 show 1,136,271 passengers pass through the St. Louis Station that would directly benefit from PTC system implementation on this rail line.
$20.2 million for three subprojects on Metra’s Commuter Rail Division to implement wayside PTC signals, reconfigure signals, and upgrade an existing PTC automatic block signalling systems on Metra’s Milwaukee District West (MD-W) and North (MD-N) lines in the Chicago, Illinois region.
7. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) – Massachusetts
$7.82 million to install a back office system for MBTA’s PTC system that consists of an existing Cab Signalling System (CSS) with Automatic Train Control (ATC) supplemented by MBTA’s Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System.
8. Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) – Maryland
$9.44 million to install an Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS) PTC system along Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) tracks in the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and equip 11 MARC 2A cab cars with I-ETMS onboard technology.
9. Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) – Missouri
$12.02 million to design, install, and test a fully integrated and functional Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS) PTC system over approximately 8.5 route miles of Kansas City Terminal (KCT) Railway right of way where Amtrak operates in the Kansas City metropolitan region of Missouri. The project will implement wayside and communications PTC equipment that provide fail-safe responses to the loss of communication data, along with an integrated back-office system capable of providing interoperability for all tenant railroads
10. New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) – New Jersey
$10 million to implement NJ Transit's PTC Phase III, which involves the purchase of onboard equipment kits and the installation, testing, and commissioning of the PTC equipment on a total of 440 locomotives, electric mobile units, and cab cars.
11. Rio Metro Regional Transit District (Rio Metro)
$3.6 million for the New Mexico Rail Runner Express’s (Rail Runner) PTC project, including installation of Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I‑ETMS) PTC onboard technology on nine Rail Runner locomotives.
12. New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) – New York
$33.75 million to implement the Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System (ACSES) PTC system on the Amtrak-controlled section of the Empire Corridor Hudson Line, a federally designated high-speed rail corridor that spans multiple jurisdictions along its 94 miles from Poughkeepsie to Hoffman, New York.
13. Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) – Oregon
$1.2 million to install and test PTC equipment on two Talgo Series 8 trainsets owned by ODOT and operated by Amtrak for the regional Amtrak Cascades intercity passenger rail service connecting Eugene, Oregon, to Vancouver, British Columbia.
14. Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) – Oregon
$2.7 million to implement two Enhanced Automatic Train Control (E-ATC) PTC system safety modifications on the 15-mile-long Westside Express commuter rail corridor from Wilsonville to Beaverton, Oregon.
15. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) – Pennsylvania
$5.8 million to install SEPTA’s Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System II (ACSES II) PTC system along a three-mile portion of restored Regional Rail service from Elwyn to Wawa, Pennsylvania, and deploy onboard survey map software that contains the physical characteristics of the railroad and dictates train-operating speeds throughout SEPTA’s rail network.
16. Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) – Texas
$9.76 million to install the PTC fibre communications network for an Enhanced Automatic Train Control (E-ATC) PTC system on approximately 33 miles of Capital Metro's commuter rail territory, which connects Downtown Austin, Texas with Austin’s northern suburbs and serves nine stations.
17. Utah Transit Authority (UTA) – Utah
$3.52 million to design and test a two-step No-Code Proceed system to assure the safe operation of UTA’s FrontRunner Enhanced Automated Train Control (E-ATC) PTC system on its two mainline track segments from Provo to Ogden and Ogden to Pleasant View, Utah.
FRA was responsible for selecting the successful recipients and FTA are now set to award and distribute the grants during this fiscal year.
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