Executives at transit agencies across the country face mounting pressure to adopt positive train control (PTC) systems to improve passenger and worker safety. However, many existing PTC solutions present serious implementation and budgetary hurdles for transit railroads.

In response to these challenges, Metrom Rail, a developer and integrator of rail safety technology, has released a new, modular and cost-effective PTC solution that can be implemented without significant impact on train throughput.

Designed for transit lines that don’t share track with freight trains, the AURA Positive Train Control System provides collision avoidance, speed and signal compliance, precision berthing, and worker protection in above and underground environments. Its modular design ensures seamless integration with new and existing transit-rail systems. Further, it utilizes wireless sensor systems that do not require centralized back-office operations.

"PTC technology is vital to improving the safety of passenger rail," said Jim Marchi, co-founder and chief executive officer of Metrom Rail. "Unfortunately, many of the solutions available today require extensive infrastructure overhauls and significant spending. Further, they often take many years to fully implement, which delays needed safety improvements. AURA utilises the most advanced technology to solve these critical safety challenges for transit agencies."

A timely update to train safety technology

The AURA PTC System offers ease of installation. It also ensures signal compliance, speed limit adherence, separation enforcement and position monitoring by sounding a warning if a train operator violates operation rules. If, in response, the operator takes no action, the AURA system will decelerate or stop the train.

Additionally, the AURA system comes equipped with a data recorder to enable transit agencies to monitor train and operator activity and performance.

"As technology innovators with experience in aerospace and health care, Jim and I have developed a knack for questioning the status quo and developing alternatives to legacy systems," said Rick Carlson, co-founder and chief operating officer of Metrom Rail. "After helping a majority of the Class I freight railroads for the past four years, we are excited to bring transit agencies a more practical solution to enhance efficiency and improve safety."

The full AURA System includes stand-alone collision avoidance and worker protection products in addition to the comprehensive PTC solution. All Metrom Rail solutions are developed in-house and can be easily customized to address the specific needs and requirements of transit agencies, company officials said.