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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is accepting applications for $199 million in competitive grant funding to implement positive train control (PTC) on commuter railroads, the department announced yesterday.The grants will be selected by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and awarded and administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and will help commuter railroads implement PTC. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx encouraged all commuter railroads to apply for the funding to implement the technology, which is being designed to prevent certain train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into work zones and trains routed on the wrong tracks because a switch was left in the wrong position."With more passengers depending on rail for transportation, positive train control is needed more than ever," said Foxx in a press release.The FRA will accept applications through Sept. 28. Eligible applicants include any entity that is eligible to receive grants from the FTA, such as commuter railroads, operators, and state and local governments."We urge railroads to submit strong applications that make these dollars go as far as possible, and we remain hopeful that Congress will act on the President's request for more funding to make PTC a reality as quickly as possible," said FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg. In his fiscal-year 2017 budget request, President Barack Obama requested $1.25 billion to help railroads achieve PTC implementation. Late last year, Congress extended the original deadline requiring railroads to implement PTC from Dec. 31, 2015, to at least Dec. 31, 2018.For more about the PTC grants, go to www.grants.gov.
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