L.A.'s Metrolink moves forward with PTC installation

Posted on October 4, 2010

On Oct. 2, at a special board meeting, the Metrolink Board of Directors authorized its CEO, John E. Fenton, to complete the final terms and conditions to award a $120 million contract to Parsons Transportation Group to manage and integrate Positive Train Control (PTC) technology on Metrolink's 512-mile system.

"Today's action puts us one step closer to our goal of being the first railroad to implement PTC and the safest rail operator in the nation," said Metrolink Board Chairman Keith Millhouse. "Metrolink has outlined an aggressive implementation schedule that will allow our passengers to be among the first in the nation to benefit from this safety innovation."

Metrolink was the nation's first rail operator to get approval from the Federal Railroad Administration on its PTC implementation plan.

PTC is collision avoidance technology that monitors and controls train movements remotely, and can prevent train-to-train collisions, unauthorized train movement into a work-zone, movement of a train through a switch left in the wrong position and trains exceeding authorized speeds.  Metrolink's PTC system will consist of:

• PTC on-board computers, display screens, GPS tracking and radios on 57 cab cars and 52 locomotives

• Stop enforcement system at 476 signals wayside signals

• Six-county specialized communication system to link the wayside signals, trains and the centralized dispatch office

• Replacement of the current dispatch system with a new system and installation of PTC back office system

Parsons Transportation Group was selected through a competitive process to implement this advanced technology and integrate the various subsystems. 

Metrolink's PTC system will be fully interoperable with the Union Pacific's and BNSF Railway's PTC Systems. The team will be supported by Wabtec Railway Electronics and ARINC.

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