NJ TRANSIT makes progress toward PTC implementation

Posted on October 31, 2016


NJ TRANSIT continues to advance its implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) to meet the 2018 deadline with the lease authorization of radio spectrum.

The approval of the lease authorization by the board allows NJ TRANSIT to execute a lease agreement with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for the last component of radio spectrum needed for its PTC system.

“This is another milestone in our commitment to upgrading our current safety systems to Positive Train Control by the federal deadline at the end of 2018,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Steve Santoro. “We are aggressively tackling the challenges posed as PTC is being designed, developed, and deployed simultaneously. Acquiring the needed radio spectrum was one of the larger hurdles which we have now crossed.”  

NJ TRANSIT will lease the 218MHz radio frequency spectrum from the MTA for a period of 50-years, at a total cost not to exceed $725,000. The authorization will allow for the acquisition of the needed spectrum for the northern and eastern portions of the agency’s rail system.

The radio spectrum provides the wireless link that allows information to pass between the rail vehicles and wayside equipment, ensuring that the onboard PTC system is getting the most accurate and up to date safety data. NJ TRANSIT must have its own radio bandwidth or spectrum so transmissions do not overlap or interfere with any others in the region.

In April 2016, the board authorized the purchase of radio frequency spectrum from PTC-220 LLC for the southern, central, and western portions of the system.

In addition to acquiring the needed radio frequency spectrum, NJ TRANSIT is also in the process of securing the hardware and software components of the PTC system including thousands of transponders and 124 radio “towers” along 326 route miles in addition to the radios and antenna equipment for 440 locomotives, EMUs, and cab cars.

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