The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has provided a grant of $25m for 11 projects in six states and the district of Columbia to help execute positive train control (PTC) systems.
PTC systems are designed to check train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and trains going to the wrong tracks due to improper switching.
In connection with the newly awarded grants, FRA received 30 eligible applications seeking $90.6m. FRA aims to help railroads achieve interoperability among different currently deployed PTC systems. Those selected for the grant include Metrolink, Sonoma, Caltrain, Amtrak, and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx said: “These grants get us a bit closer to implementing Positive Train Control, a long overdue technology that prevents accidents and saves lives.
“We will continue to do everything in our power to help railroads install this technology.
“We encourage Congress to fully fund the President’s request for significant funds to help more railroads activate PTC.”
In 2008, the US Congress mandated implementation of PTC on the main lines of class I railroads and entities providing regularly scheduled intercity or commuter rail passenger transportation.
Last October, Congress extended the initial PTC implementation deadline from 31 December, 2015 to 31 December, 2018.