The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has granted $197m funding for the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) systems in a bid to improve safety before the specified deadline of 31 December 2018.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have announced the recipients of PTC programme's grant funding, which is authorised under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

FRA and FTA received a total of 27 eligible applications, before ultimately deciding to award the funds to 17 different projects across 13 states.

FRA was responsible for selecting the successful recipients and FTA are now set to award and administer the grants during this fiscal year.

FRA executive director Patrick Warren said: “The number of passengers depending on rail has increased dramatically, which means PTC is needed now more than ever.

“This funding will get us closer to PTC implementation on some of the most significant railroads in the country that transport several million passengers to and from work every day.”

PTC systems have been developed to prevent certain train-to-train collisions, derailments and incursions throughout established work zones.

The solutions are also capable of preventing trains getting routed on the wrong tracks due to mechanical errors.

The allocated grants will be used to install PTC technology comprising back office systems and wayside communications, as well as associated on-board hardware equipment.

FTA executive director Matthew Welbes said: “Millions of people rely on our nation’s commuter railroads and Positive Train Control will help ensure safe and reliable service.

“Today’s announcement means that commuter railroads can move forward with the implementation of an important rail safety feature.”

The programme will see Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB) receive $21.68m in order to equip seven Caltrain locomotives with the Incremental Train Control System (ITCS) and Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS) PTC solutions.

South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) will be awarded $31.63m to complete the installation of I-ETMS PTC system.

"This funding will get us closer to PTC implementation on some of the most significant railroads in the country that transport several million passengers every day."

Additionally, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will receive $18.87m to install I-ETMS PTC systems on two routes for Amtrak, while Regional Transportation Authority (Metra) will get $20.2m for three subprojects on its Commuter Rail Division.

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) will also receive $33.75m to implement the Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System (ACSES) PTC system on the Amtrak-controlled section of the Empire Corridor Hudson Line.

Other recipients of the grant include the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, Florida Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Maryland Transit Administration, Missouri Department of Transportation and New Jersey Transit Corporation.

Rio Metro Regional Transit District, Oregon Department of Transportation, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Utah Transit Authority will also receive funding under the PTC initiative.

Image: US Department of Transportation headquarters in Southeast Washington, near the Navy Yard and the new Nationals Ballpark. Photo: courtesy of Aude via Wikipedia.