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Siemens to automate the two busiest commuter lines in the USA

20 November 2013  •  Author: Siemens

  • New PTC train control system will increase the safety of passenger service
  • Upgrading of both lines will boost the annual transport capacity for around 80 million passengers

Siemens Rail Automation, in a consortium with Bombardier Transportation, is to upgrade the train control systems on the two largest commuter lines in the USA under the terms of a corresponding contract awarded by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Siemens and Bombardier will develop, test and commission the new Positive Train Control (PTC) system for the North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road commuter lines in the state of New York in phases by 2019. The new control system will monitor and control train movements on both lines. In future, excessive train speed or the overrunning of stop signals will be prevented by emergency braking.It is also expected to ensure more efficient service on the more than 1,100 track kilometers of track and to increase the transport capacity of these lines. Siemens’ share of the contract in the first project phase is worth around 90 million US-dollars.

“Siemens is a leading provider of rail automation technologies worldwide, and we are excited to bring this global expertise to advance rail efficiency on these highly traveled commuter lines,” said John Paljug, President of Siemens Rail Automation in the U.S. The North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road commuter lines in the state of New York are the busiest commuter rail routes in North America and carry around 80 million passengers every year. With a total of 124 stations and about 1,100 kilometers of track, they connect the suburban communities to the north and east of New York City with downtown Manhattan.

The project will be delivered in phases on approximately 1,100 km (about 700 miles) of track and 1,500 vehicles across the two railroads. Siemens’ work scope for this project includes development, modification, design, delivery and supervision of testing and commissioning of the new Positive Train Control (PTC) carborne system. This scope also includes upgrading of the existing wayside signaling for the two commuter lines.

Siemens has developed PTC specifically for the North American market and in accordance with the U.S. Congress’ Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The act mandates widespread installation of PTC systems by December 2015 on rail lines where intercity passenger rail and commuter service is regularly operated.

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