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Rail News: Positive Train Control

New Mexico Rail Runner nets $30 million from feds for PTC

Without the grant, the railroad would have needed to cut service to accommodate PTC costs, New Mexico legislators said.
Photo – New Mexico Rail Runner's Twitter account


The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded a nearly $30 million grant to the Rio Metro Regional Transit District for the implementation of positive train control (PTC) on the New Mexico Rail Runner Express system.

Without the grant, the district likely would have needed to cut service to accommodate PTC costs, according to a joint press release issued by U.S. Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.).

In June, the lawmakers wrote to the USDOT in support of the grant.

"The Rail Runner connects rural, native and urban communities in central New Mexico, offering thousands of New Mexicans access to employment, education, health care and service opportunities," Udall said. "While positive train control represents a critical safety upgrade, it also carries with it a high price tag that threatened to limit the essential service the Rail Runner provides to central New Mexico."

As of March 31, the New Mexico Rail Runner had not equipped any locomotives or track segments with PTC equipment, according to the Federal Railroad Administration's first-quarter PTC report.

Each day, up to 16 one-way commuter trains roll along the Rail Runner's 100-mile corridor connecting Albuquerque to Santa Fe, Pueblos, Los Lunas, Belen and several rural communities.