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MTA Metro-North Railroad earlier this week announced it has installed positive train control (PTC), a signal system and passing sidings on the Waterbury Branch in Naugatuck Valley, Connecticut.
The 172-year-old branch upgrade is historic, as it makes the final segment of railroad to receive an automatic signal system, Metro-North officials said in a press release.
The signal system and subsequent PTC was activated Nov. 20 by Metro-North and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT). CTDOT provided the funding for the new Centralized Traffic Control signal system, which allows trains to travel at speeds up to 60 mph.
Work on the project, which began in April 2019 and was finished early this month, included replacing more than 13,000 rail ties and adding passing sidings at Derby, Beacon Falls and Waterbury. A fourth siding will be installed at Devon.
CTDOT looks to build on the signal system installation with plans to install two-way rail service on the branch in the coming months. The improvements will service to increase to as many as 22 trains each weekday starting in summer 2022. Increased service on the line is funded by $1.23 million in Connecticut state funding; $1.3 billion in federal funds will further enhance and expand these efforts, Metro-North officials said.
"The successful installation of the new signal system on the Waterbury Branch allowed us to bring the final segment of Metro-North online for PTC, increasing passenger safety, while also giving us the ability to provide more service on the branch in the future,” said Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi.