USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

FRA Awards More Than $200 Million for PTC Implementation

Friday, August 24, 2018

WASHINGTON – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today awarded $203,698,298 in grant funding for 28 projects in 15 states to assist with the deployment of positive train control (PTC) systems. 

 “These $200 million in grants will help the railroads continue to implement positive train control, a technology that could help reduce accidents and save lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

 FRA is making awards to 28 projects for a total of $203 million of the $250 million specifically appropriated under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 for the implementation of PTC systems, via the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program. A Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for $250 million in PTC Systems Grants was issued in May, and applications under that solicitation were due on July 2.

In an effort to assist railroads as they work towards fulfilling the Congressional PTC mandate, the U.S. Department of Transportation focused its resources on releasing these important funds in an expeditious manner.  The application review and selection process was completed in 49 days, in order to award these funds in advance of the December 31, 2018 deadline.

 In addition, FRA expects in the coming days to issue a second NOFO soliciting applications for PTC systems deployment projects based on the balance of the $250 million that remained after today’s awards were announced. Applications for the $46,301,702 under this second solicitation will be due 30 days after the NOFO is published in the Federal Register.

“It was our goal to award today’s grants as quickly as possible to help the recipients implement PTC,” said FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory. “We also encourage eligible applicants to apply for the remaining balance of the PTC CRISI grants after that NOFO is published.”

The list of awards for the $203.7 million in grant funding is below. The awards fund many aspects of PTC system implementation for intercity passenger or commuter rail and freight rail transportation including: back office PTC systems; wayside, communications, and onboard PTC system equipment; personnel training; PTC system testing; and interoperability.

In 2008, Congress mandated implementation of PTC systems on the main lines of Class I railroads and entities providing regularly scheduled intercity or commuter rail passenger transportation over which any poison- or toxic-by-inhalation hazardous materials are transported, or over which intercity or commuter rail passenger transportation is regularly provided. In October 2015, Congress extended the original PTC system implementation deadline from December 31, 2015, to December 31, 2018. In addition, Congress requires FRA to approve a railroad’s request for an “alternative schedule” with a deadline for full implementation beyond December 31, 2018, but not later than December 31, 2020, if the railroad demonstrates it has met the congressionally mandated criteria for an alternative schedule.

FRA awarded grants in the approximate amounts below to the following programs and entities: 

  • AK – Vital Functions for PTC to Improve Safety and Velocity (Up to $10,376,704)
    Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC)
    o   Will involve the development, testing, system certification, and implementation of Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS) with an Independent Vital Server to improve safety and the railroad’s overall operations along ARRC’s main line that stretches 470 miles from Seward to Fairbanks, AK.
  • CA – Coast Subdivision PTC Implementation (Up to $11,340,000)
    California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
    o  Will design and install the I-ETMS wayside signal systems at 30 existing control points and 111 intermediate signal locations along the Coast Subdivision from Oakland to North San Luis Obispo, CA, in this rural project.
  • CA – PTC Infrastructure Implementation and Safety Certification (Up to $18,693,386)
    Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Caltrain)
    o Will build upon Caltrain’s efforts to test and validate certain technical PTC components of its I-ETMS system between San Francisco and southern San Jose, CA.
  • CA – SMART’s Windsor Extension PTC Implementation (Up to $5,000,000)
    Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART)
    o Will install Enhanced Automatic Train Control (E-ATC) on the 3.3-mile passenger rail extension between the Sonoma County Airport job center and Windsor, CA.
  • CA – Upscaling Key PTC Onboard and Wayside Components (Up to $9,944,000)
    Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA or Metrolink)
    o Will upgrade Metrolink’s PTC Train Management Computer (TMC) to improve processor power as well as upgrade the wayside system hardware to support the deployment of nearside crossing inhibits and wireless activations in southern California.
  • FL – Central Florida Rail Corridor PTC Completion Project (Up to $14,914,238)
    Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
    o Will complete the installation of I-ETMS, with testing and documentation to support PTC System Certification, on the 61.3-mile Central Florida Rail Corridor from DeLand to Poinciana, FL.
  • IA – Iowa Interstate PTC Upgrade (Up to $1,767,665)
    Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS)
    o Will install onboard PTC systems and radios on 23 IAIS locomotives and procure a back-office service messaging systems license to allow for interoperable PTC operations on Metra’s Rock Island District commuter line in Illinois.
  • IA – PTC Deployment for Iowa Northern Railway Company (Up to $1,983,082)
    Iowa Northern Railway Company (IANR)
    o Will install I-ETMS onboard 20 locomotives, along with software, a back-office system, component testing, interoperability testing, and training for IANR’s freight rail transportation between Cedar Falls and Waterloo, IA, on the Canadian National Railway’s Waterloo Subdivision.
  • IL – PTC Deployment and Interoperability Testing Project (Up to $8,600,000)
    Belt Railway Company of Chicago (BRC)
    o Will complete the final phase of BRC’s I-ETMS PTC systems engineering, integration, testing, and training on its entire main line network in Cook County, IL.
  • IL – Northern Illinois PTC Project (Up to $1,640,925)
    Chicago Rail Link (CRL)
    o Will include onboard computer equipment and communication systems, locomotive radio licenses, messaging licenses, and a back-office service messaging systems management license, along with PTC system testing and training to support the five CRL and Illinois Railway locomotives operating on the Metra commuter rail system in and around Chicago, as Metra and BNSF Railway activate I-ETMS PTC systems.
  • IL – Fiber Optic PTC Communication Systems on Metra’s Rock Island and South West Service (Up to $22,983,308)
    Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (Metra)
    o Will construct the fiber optic backbone to provide redundancy and resiliency for I‐ETMS PTC operations on two Metra-operated commuter rail routes, the Rock Island and South West Service lines.
  • IN – Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad PTC Implementation Project (Up to $720,000)
    Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad (CSS)
    o Will include I-ETMS installation, testing, and training as well as interoperability between CSS and the host railroad, Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, along a route from Chicago, IL, to South Bend, IN.
  • IN – Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District PTC Implementation (Up to $8,081,222)
    Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD)
    o Will complete the design, implementation, training, and support of NICTD’s I-ETMS PTC system for the wayside, onboard, locomotive, back office, and communications segments to enhance the safety of commuter rail passenger transportation between South Bend, IN, and Chicago, IL.
  • MA – Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s PTC System (Up to $20,000,000)
    Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
    o Will support the completion of MBTA’s ongoing implementation of the Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System II (ACSES II) with system acceptance testing of 12 non-pilot lines in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, where installing equipment is ongoing.
  • MA – Implementation of a PTC System on High-Traffic Corridor (Up to $2,991,825)
    Springfield Terminal Railway Company (ST)/Pan Am Railways
    o Will install ACSES II and Automatic Train Control on ST’s locomotives on rail lines throughout the New England area and support related testing and training.
  • MD - MARC Locomotive PTC Installation (Up to $2,080,000)
    Maryland Transit Administration (MTA)
    o Will upgrade, test, and commission nine Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) locomotives with I-ETMS and provide training for service on CSX Transportation, Inc.’s (CSX) and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor territories along MARC’s three lines from Washington, DC, to Martinsburg, WV; Brunswick, MD; and Frederick, MD.
  • NE – Nebraska Central Railroad Company PTC Compliance (Up to $527,596)
    Nebraska Central Railroad Company (NCRC)
    o Will deploy the PTC back office system, onboard hardware equipment for three locomotives, software, component testing, and training for the NCRC to operate along 62 miles of Union Pacific Railroad’s track between Grand Island and Columbus, NE, in this rural project.
  • NM – NMRX PTC Implementation Project (Up to $29,359,208)
    Rio Metro Regional Transit District (Rio Metro)
    o Will result in the full implementation of New Mexico Rail Runner Express’ (NMRX) I-ETMS PTC system, which will be installed on 96 miles of the NMRX system between Belen, and Santa Fe, NM, including approximately 74 miles of the Albuquerque Subdivision and 22 miles of the Santa Fe Subdivision in this rural project.
  • NY – PTC Project for Middletown and New Jersey Railroad L.L.C. (Up to $1,200,000)
    Middletown and New Jersey Railroad
    o Will deploy ACSES II PTC back office systems, communications, onboard hardware equipment, and software as well as support testing and training to ensure that Middletown and New Jersey Railroad locomotives can operate on New Jersey Transit dispatched territory in Orange County, NY, in this rural project.
  • NY – New York & Atlantic Railway PTC Implementation Project (Up to $1,011,118)
    New York & Atlantic Railway Company (NYA)
    o Will install PTC onboard equipment on 10 NYA locomotives as well as support training and testing for its operations on freight lines owned by the Long Island Rail Road in Long Island, NY.
  • PA – Upgrading 14 Locomotives with Two Safety-Related Technology Upgrades (Up to $1,830,926)
    Allegheny Valley Railroad Company (AVR)
    o Will upgrade AVR’s 10 locomotives with PTC and Cab Signal Systems for operations utilizing AVR’s trackage rights over Norfolk Southern Railway’s (NS) rail lines and upgrade four other locomotives solely with PTC, and support testing and training.
  • PA – Improving Safety and Interoperability in Pittsburgh, PA – PTC System (Up to $302,444)
    Allegheny Valley Railroad Company (AVR)
    o Will install a PTC back office and support system engineering, testing, and training for AVR operating on 77 miles of track in the greater Pittsburgh area.
  • PA – Installation of PTC Equipment on Locomotives as well as Secure Messaging Licenses and Back Office Hosting (Up to $4,416,000)
    North Shore Railroad Company
    o Will deploy I-ETMS back office systems, communications and onboard hardware equipment, software, equipment installation, testing and training for the implementation of PTC systems, and interoperability testing for six short line railroads operating in central Pennsylvania on tracks owned by NS in this rural project.
  • TX – Capital Metro PTC Interoperability and Testing Project (Up to $5,650,000)
    Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro)
    o Will include the remaining integration testing of PTC components, preparation of the PTC safety plan, contract engineering and oversight, systems testing, and training for Capital Metro’s installation of E-ATC on its Red Line in the cities of Austin, Cedar Park, Leander, and surrounding Texas communities.
  • TX – DART/Trinity Metro Regional PTC Deployment Project (Up to $9,516,358)
    Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
    o Will support implementing a PTC back office system, I-ETMS systems integration and testing with multiple freight and passenger railroads, interoperability testing, and training for the Trinity Railway Express and TEXRail commuter railroads in the Dallas-Fort Worth urban area.
  • TX – PTC Enhancements - Denton County Transportation Authority A-train Commuter Rail (Up to $4,000,000)
    Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA)
    o Will implement five cut sections to include PTC programming changes, insulated joints, track monitoring equipment, testing and communications, deploying dispatch software/hardware integration with the Enhanced Automatic Train Control (E-ATC) temporary speed restrictions server, support training, and testing along a 21-mile commuter rail line in Denton County, TX.
  • UT – Utah Transit Authority PTC FrontRunner South Segment (Up to $2,781,775)
    Utah Transit Authority (UTA)
    o Will include the software redesign to advance E-ATC on the FrontRunner South Segment from Salt Lake City to Provo, UT, over 44.26 miles.
  • WA – Short Line PTC Project (Up to $1,986,518)
    Puget Sound and Pacific Railroad (PSAP)
    o Will install onboard PTC systems on 18 locomotives across five Class III railroads, test crew initialization back office server system across eight railroads, and establish a PTC Help Desk/Lab to support eight railroads in Arkansas, California, Ohio, Oregon, Minnesota, Missouri, and Washington.

Under the CRISI Program, at least 25 percent of funds are available for rural projects. Federal funds awarded for CRISI grants must not exceed 80 percent of the total cost of a project, and the required 20 percent non-federal share may be composed of public sector (state or local) or private-sector funding, or both.

In making the selection decisions for the PTC grants, the factors that FRA considered included supporting economic vitality; leveraging federal funding; using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery; and holding grant recipients accountable for achieving specific, measurable outcomes. Preference was given to projects proposing at least a 50 percent match and that maximize the net benefits of the grant funds.

FRA anticipates reimbursing recipients for otherwise eligible costs incurred as early as today’s date for those purposes deemed to fall within a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). FRA does not want recipients to delay costs necessary for PTC system deployment. Selected recipients will be contacted by their FRA Regional Manager to discuss the reimbursement of costs incurred in advance of grant execution.

More about PTC systems can be found here.