Los Angeles Metrolink Goes “live” With PTC Train Safety

Los Angeles administrators early on embraced the mission to convert to higher safety PTC systems and now in mid year 2015 have gone “live”.

Meanwhile, many other US commuter railroads complain that they might need more than a thousands extra days to make their legislatively mandated train safety upgrade fully operational ( by this year’s) end.

See more discussion at: http://mobile.metrolinktrains.com/index/newsDetail/id/983

LOS ANGELES Metrolink has launched its Positive Train Control (PTC) in Revenue Service Demonstration (RSD) across the entire 341-mile network the agency owns.  They did so earlier this month.

Metrolink thus becomes the first commuter railroad in the USA to have PTC running during regular service on all of its hosted lines and remains on track to become the nation’s first passenger rail system to have a fully operational, interoperable, and certified PTC system in place.

Metrolink began operating PTC RSD on the last of Metrolink’s hosted rail system on June 14. RSD simply means trains in revenue service or in Metrolinks case, with passengers on board.

The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA) set a federally mandated deadline of December 31, 2015 for PTC implementation. PTC involves a Global Positioning System (GPS)-based technology capable of preventing train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, unauthorized incursion into work zones and train movement through switches left in the wrong position.

The NTSB has consistently included PTC in its lists of most wanted safety technologies for more than 40 years.

Across its 512 route-mile network, Metrolink also operates on track owned and dispatched by the Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway and the North County Transit District (NCTD) in San Diego County.

Metrolink provides nearly one million passenger boardings a month throughout its system.

The FRA has authorized Metrolink to operate PTC RSD using Wabtec’s ™ Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS)

Parsons Transportation Group, Inc., a business unit of Parsons Corporation, is the primary contractor managing Metrolink’s ™ PTC program.

The current cost for developing, installing and deploying PTC on the Metrolink system is estimated at about $216 million. Approximately 85 percent of the funds come from state and local dollars.

Among the metrics for the Metrolink PTC program are these:

the design and installation and then testing of a full deployment with a back-office server (BOS) system and new PTC-compatible computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system.

— installed on-board PTC equipment on 57 cab cars and 52 locomotives

— Out on track, they installed signal communication devices at 168 wayside locations, and implementing a six-county specialized communication network to link the wayside signals, trains and a new central train dispatch center.

The Metrolink Dispatch and Operations Center (DOC) is located in Pomona California.

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