Security and Safety

Parsons wins Chicago Metra PTC contract

Posted on September 8, 2015


Parsons was selected by Metra, Chicago’s commuter rail operator, to install Positive Train Control (PTC) technology on its commuter rail trains.

PTC, which is federally mandated, is high-tech collision-avoidance technology that monitors and controls train movements. It is intended to prevent train‑to‑train collisions, overspeed derailments, incursions into established work zones and movement of trains through a main line switch left in an improper position.

The contract is Metra’s biggest expenditure to date for installing PTC. As prime contractor, Parsons will work with Metra to install an Interoperable Electronic Train Management System that will be interoperable with 12 railroads, integrating the complex system of locomotive‑mounted Global Positioning System devices, radios, trackside antennas and computers. The Federal Railroad Administration has recognized that Chicago is the most complicated application of PTC in the country.

Parsons is a primary system integrator in the U.S. commuter rail market, helping a variety of customers meet the mandatory PTC system requirements of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, including Metrolink, Caltrain, Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. Parsons has more than 60 years of experience working with all of the key vendors and suppliers of safety‑critical and vital systems for railroads and transit systems.

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