FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo and Siemens Freight & Rail Products CEO Kevin Riddett view rail automation technology engineered and manufactured by Siemens Louisville plant for PATH project in New York.
Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo visited a Siemens
rail automation plant in Louisville that is helping engineer the next generation of rail safety and hiring new employees to keep up with that demand. The Siemens plant is one of several companies across the country that are making key components for new Positive Train Control
(PTC) systems that will improve safety on the nation’s rail lines.
During his visit, Szabo highlighted the importance of the GROW AMERICA Act, the Obama Administration’s four-year, $302 billion reauthorization bill now before Congress, which will provide $19 billion for rail, including $2.3 billion to help commuter rail lines deploy and implement PTC systems.
To meet the growing customer demand to engineer, manufacture and assemble rail automation systems, Siemens hired 95 additional employees over the past year to support its rail automation business line. The Louisville plant employs 280 people, with 63 employees engaged in assembly and manufacturing.
“PTC technology is the backbone of the next generation of safety,” said Szabo. “This technology has the ability to stop a train, avert an accident and consequentially save lives. It is a powerful tool to help us mitigate human error and further reduce the number of train accidents.”
The Louisville plant engineers and produces signaling and train control systems. Currently, it produces PTC signaling, wayside signaling systems and crossing control bungalows for a variety of railroads, including PATH, the Long Island Railroad, Canadian Pacific, Kansas City Southern, Canadian National and Norfolk Southern.
PTC is an integrated, command, control, communications and information system for controlling the movement of trains. In 2008, the system was mandated for use by Congress on all passenger lines and on certain critical segments of freight routes throughout the country.