The Federal Railroad Administration, an agency under the United States Department of Transportation, has allocated nearly $204m in funding to implement positive train control (PTC) systems across 15 states.
The grant was awarded as part of a total $250m that has been appropriated under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 to deploy PTC systems. The funding will be utilised for 28 projects.
US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said: “These $200m in grants will help the railroads continue to implement positive train control, a technology that could help reduce accidents and save lives.”
In May this year, the FRA issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and completed the application review process to release the allocated funds for the selected projects.
It is expected to issue a second NOFO soon, seeking applications for the remaining $46m to be allocated for other PTC systems-related projects.
The overall grant is being provided through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) programme in order to expedite the process of PTC implementation.
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FRA administrator Ronald Batory said: “It was our goal to award today’s grants as quickly as possible to help the recipients implement PTC.
“We also encourage eligible applicants to apply for the remaining balance of the PTC CRISI grants after that NOFO is published.”
The funding will be utilised to carry out multiple elements of PTC system implementation, including the deployment of back office PTC systems, communications and onboard PTC system equipment.
It will also be used for personnel training on PTC systems, as well as its testing and interoperability.
Under a US Congress mandate, all railroads in the country are required to implement PTC systems by 31 December 2018.
However, railway operating companies can extend it to 31 December 2020, subject to FRA approval and fulfilment of congressionally mandated criteria.