The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) will accept applications for $199m in competitive grant funding for the implementation of a positive train control (PTC) system.
PTC is a system of functional requirements for monitoring and managing train movements in the US in a bid to offer increased rail safety.
Chosen by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and awarded and administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the new grants will enable commuter railroads to implement PTC with an aim to prevent accidents.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: “With more passengers depending on rail for transportation, Positive Train Control is needed more than ever.
“I encourage all commuter railroads to take full advantage of this opportunity to invest in the most important rail safety technology in more than a century.”
The PTC technology can help avoid certain train-to-train collisions, incursions into established work zones, over-speed derailments and trains routed to the wrong tracks because a switch was left in the wrong position.
FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg said: “This funding will get us a bit closer to activating positive train control on some of the most important railroads in the country that transport millions of passengers to their jobs each morning and to their families each night.
“We urge railroads to submit strong applications that make these dollars go as far as possible, and we remain hopeful that Congress will act on the President’s request for more funding to make PTC a reality as quickly as possible.”
Projects that are eligible for grants must provide information to assist in the implementation of PTC systems, such as costs of installing PTC systems, back office systems, PTC interoperability, and technologies that will lower costs, speed up implementation, improve interoperability between host and tenant operations, and enhance reliability of PTC systems.