US-based Wabtec has secured contracts worth $45m from the Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad (Metra) and Parsons Transportation Group (PTG) to provide equipment and services for a positive train control (PTC) system on the Chicago commuter rail network.

With a fleet of 146 locomotives, 843 passenger cars and 185 electric-propelled cars, Metra operates commuter rail service in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, serving more than 100 communities at 241 rail stations.

In September, Metra has selected Parsons to install PTC anti-collision technology on its commuter trains in Chicago.

"The new bill include several provisions that should be good for the US transit industry and, therefore, for Wabtec."

Parson’s PTC was approved by the US Government to prevent train-to-train collisions, overspeed derailments, incursions into established work zones, and movement of trains through a main line with switch left in an improper position.

As part of the deal, Wabtec will supply its interoperable electronic train management system (I-ETMS) equipment, including replacement parts and TMDS back office system, as well as track data, training, and related services.

Wabtec president and CEO Raymond Betler said: "We have worked with Metra for several years to develop and design their PTC programme."

According to Wabtec, Metra’s system will be fully interoperable with the PTC systems currently being rolled out by the Class 1 freight railways in the US.

The US Government recently passed the five-year transportation funding bill, now known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

Commenting on the FAST Act, Betler said: "The new bill include several provisions that should be good for the US transit industry and, therefore, for Wabtec.

"For example, this is the first multi-year bill passed in a decade, and that means transit agencies should have a longer-term planning horizon for potential projects. In addition, the bill calls for a 10.2% funding increase in year one and further increases in future years."