The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the US has awarded contracts worth over $340m for signalling upgrades on the century-old PATH rail system.

Work involves replacing the old signalling systems with a new Automatic Train Control system across the railway’s 43 track miles and 13 stations.

The contract also includes the installation of new communications equipment inside the new 130-railcar fleet.

The total project is expected to cost $580m and is key to the operator’s $3.3bn plan to revamp the entire PATH system by improving safety and increasing capacity by 20%.

Of the new contracts, a $321m contract has been awarded to a Siemens-led consortium, including Safetran and D/A Builders, to design, build and install the new signal system.

A $21m contract has been awarded to Booz Allen Hamilton to help oversee the work and a $2m contract to Rail Safety Consulting for rail safety certification.

Work is expected to begin this year and finish in 2017.