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11/22/2010



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

USDOT provides $50 million in grants for seven PTC projects


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On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced it will award $50 million for seven positive train control (PTC) projects. Ranging from $500,000 to $21 million, the allocations are part of the Railroad Safety Technology Grant (RSTG) program.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) received 41 RSTG program grant applications requesting more than $228 million. Grant decisions were based on technical merit, including the extent to which a project helps achieve interoperability between technologies, and the recipient’s project management capabilities and financial commitment to share costs, according to the FRA.

“We are funding projects that confer the greatest benefits to the entire railroad community,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo in a prepared statement.

The USDOT awarded the following grants:
• $21 million to Meterocomm Communications Corp. to conduct 220 MHz PTC radio HW design integration testing and a locomotive noise study for a required radio platform for an interoperable communications network across multiple railroads deploying a Vital Train Management System (VTMS) featuring a 220MHz radio frequency;
• $12.85 million to Amtrak for an Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System (ACSES )/VTMS project aimed at achieving interoperability between the PTC system used on the Northeast Corridor and VTMS being adopted by several freight railroads;
• $6.6 million to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority to help develop and test a communications best practices guide for all railroads that must implement a standard VTMS requiring an interoperable communication architecture in the Los Angeles basin;
• $6.59 million to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority to develop and test the interface specifications for major subsystems of the Amtrak Northeast Corridor ACSES system for MTA Metro-North Railroad and MTA Long Island Rail Road;
• $1.5 million to the Railroad Research Foundation to provide ongoing implementation of the Rail Corridor Risk Management System;
• $857,106 to Howard University to develop performance models for cryptographic key management required for an interoperable PTC system communication; and
• $500,000 to Westinghouse Airbrake Corp. to validate the ability to use video typically collected in a locomotive to validate PTC survey location points.


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