The USA’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has approved a $967.1 million loan to fund the development of positive train control (PTC) on New York’s commuter rail network.
The loan, which is the largest ever issued through the FRA’s Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program, is subject to approval from MTA’s board.
In November 2013, New York transit authority MTA awarded Bombardier and Siemens a $428 million contact to bring Positive Train Control (PTC) to the LIRR and Metro-North Railroad.
The package of works involves upgrading signalling systems along 1,100 kilometres of track and 1,500 trains across the two lines.
PTC is protection system which uses GPS systems to monitor a train’s position on the network. By doing so it can automatically intervene to avoid collisions with other trains, slow vehicles travelling at excessive speeds and stop trains from entering closed sections of track or travelling through a switch which is in the wrong position.
MTA has said the technology would help prevent disasters such as the Spuyten Duyvil derailment in 2013.
Governor Cuomo said: “This loan is a dramatic investment in the MTA – one that will make trains safer for all riders on Metro-North and the LIRR.
“With this infusion of funding, crews will be getting to work on individual cars and along hundreds of miles of track to install state of the art technology that can save lives.”