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Rail News: Positive Train Control

FRA awards $25 million in PTC grants


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today awarded $25 million in grants for 11 projects in six states and the District of Columbia to assist in the development of positive train control (PTC).

The FRA received 30 eligible applications requesting $90.6 million in grants, nearly four times the $25 million that Congress provided in an appropriations bill that funds the administration's fiscal-year 2016 budget, according to an FRA press release.

"Every dollar we invest in implementing positive train control as quickly as possible is money well spent because ultimately it means fewer accidents and fewer fatalities," said FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg. "Today's grants inch us closer to a safer rail network with PTC."

The following grants were awarded to:
Metrolink in California, which will receive $2.4 million to develop, test and deploy a full-feature service desk management suite of software applications that will allow the railroad to create, track, manage and share PTC system and asset trouble tickets internally within the organization and with interoperable railroad partners.
Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) District in California, which will receive $3 million to install PTC and integrated new grade crossing warning systems on the 2.1-mile passenger rail extension between downtown San Rafael and Larkspur.
Caltrain in California, which will receive $2.88 million to conduct two test procedures for the field integration and functional testing of Caltrain's interoperable-incremental train control system (I-ITCS) that will allow interoperable electronic train management system (I-ETMS) equipped tenants to seamlessly operate on Caltrain's tracks.
Amtrak in Washington, D.C., which will receive $2.64 million to put in place authentication technology to fully secure the PTC wireless communication and data transmittal between a train's point of origin and targeted receivers on the Northeast Corridor.
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association in Washington, D.C., which will receive $2.5 million to create a crew initialization back office server system (CI-BOS) hosted service to assist small railroads tasked with implementing PTC, particularly systems that interoperate with Class I railroads.
Providence and Worcester Railroad Co. (P&W) in Massachusetts, which will receive $965,832 to acquire and install eight advanced civil speed enforcement system (ACSES) PTC onboard units for P&W’s locomotives utilized on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.
Twin Cities & Western Railroad Co. in Minnesota, which will receive $1.1 million to 
implement and test PTC systems, including a contract with a back office service and interoperability message software provider, initial activation and licensing fees of hosted back office systems, and two PTC-equipped locomotives.
Missouri Department of Transportation, which will receive $3 million to jointly partner with the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis for an I-ETMS implementation project on the Missouri side of TRRA's territory.
North Carolina Department of Transportation, which will receive $771,070 to equip five converted Cab Control Units with I-ETMS and conduct testing on the Piedmont corridor or within any adjacent rail territory of the department's rail partners Norfolk Southern Corp. and Amtrak.
Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Texas, which will receive $3 million to implement Enhanced Automatic Train Control (E-ATC) that will overlay the existing wayside signal system and enhance onboard, wayside, and control office equipment and software to create a functional PTC system in the Austin area.
Fort Worth & Western Railroad in Texas, which will receive $2.56 million to install PTC on-board equipment and 220 MHz radios on nine locomotives in a phased installation, develop a crew initialization back office server, and train necessary personnel to operate and maintain the PTC system.
Last year, Congress extended the original PTC implementation deadline from Dec. 31, 2015, to at least Dec. 31, 2018.