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Rail News: Communication and Signal

PATH to invest $500 million in train control technology

As part of a $1.3 billion systemwide upgrade program, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey yesterday unveiled a six-year, $500 million plan to overhaul the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) signal system — a project that could boost system capacity by 20 percent, the authority said in a prepared statement.

The technology PATH currently uses — a 38-year-old fixed-block system that dates to the early 20th century — limits the authority's ability to "adapt to increased capacity and service demands," officials said, adding that many components either no longer are produced or supported, or have exceeded their expected useful lifespan.

Featuring state-of-the-art automatic train control, the new signal system will enable PATH to run trains closer together, reducing headways and increasing frequency, officials said. It'll also feature continuous over-speed protection.

Installation of the new system — the contract for which has yet to be awarded — is scheduled to begin next year, with completion by 2014.

PATH's board previously approved $809 million to replace the authority's entire 340-car fleet by 2011.

"We are transforming the PATH system from the oldest rail system in the country into the newest," said Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia.

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More News from 10/18/2007