Italian technology firm Eurotech has won a three-year, $60m contract from US-based Science Applications International (SAIC) to supply Eurotech as an embedded platform for a positive train location (PTL) system.

PTL is a subset of the US Positive Train Control (PTC) programme to modernise and improve safety on the country’s railways.

Under the deal, the company will deliver the first units of the Eurotech computer on a Catalyst TC module with custom board set and enclosure during 2012, while full delivery is expected to be completed in 2013.

The US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the North American rail industry have been developing various elements for a PTC system, with work currently focusing on train length data accuracy and positive determination of train location through PTL projects.

The first phase of the PTL project will use Eurotech’s ISIS ICE, a rugged sub-system based on the low power, high performance ISIS single board computer.

The ISIS ICE, which has been certified as one of two hardware reference designs for PTC applications, provides fanless and discless operation, combined with wireless communications, GPS options and flexible PC/104 I/O and communications expansion.

SAIC vice president of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance group Judith Decker said that the company has sought out a rugged and reliable hardware platform for the the company’s PTL system that will be deployed on trains.

"The Eurotech ISIS is certified and meets our stringent requirements for operations in harsh environments," Decker said.

Eurotech chief executive officer for North America Greg Nicoloso said: "Eurotech’s ISIS ICE is very well suited to asset monitoring and control applications, as well as in-vehicle control, and this alignment helped us meet the challenging specifications for this exciting PTL project."