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Rail News: Communication and Signal

MTA OKs contract for new train control system on Queens Boulevard subway line

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) Transit Committee yesterday gave preliminary approval for two contracts with Siemens Industry and Thales Transport & Security for the installation of a communications-based train control (CBTC) signaling system along the Queens Boulevard Line.

Together, the contracts are worth $205.8 million, MTA officials said in a press release.

The technology, which is in operation on the Canarsie L Line, is expected to help the subway system quickly recover from delays and restore consistent wait times at stations.

The agency also can use CBTC to program a lower maximum speed in work zones, which in turn is expected to increase safety for track workers, MTA officials said.

Video presented to MTA's Transit Committee on CBTC

"The communications-based train control signaling system is a vital part of our plan to address issues of overcrowding, record ridership and service delays," said MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast. "CBTC represents the MTA’s efforts to bring advanced technology to a century-old subway system that, in some parts, has not been updated in decades."

Additionally, the train control technology can provide customers with real-time data for mobile apps.

The 67-month contracts mark the first phase of a project to update the signaling system along the entirety of the Queen Boulevard Line, MTA officials said. Design work is expected to begin later this year, with installation slated to begin in mid-2017.

Siemens' contract is worth $156.2 million, while Thales' is valued at $49.6 million.

MTA's Transit Committee also approved a separate $1.2 million contract with Mitsubishi Electric Power Products for the development and testing of CBTC software and systems.

These contracts are slated for review by the full MTA Board tomorrow. They will be fully funded by the agency, with portions funded by the 2010-2014 Capital Program and other existing programs. Additional elements of the project, such as car and wayside equipment installation, are expected to be funded in MTA's 2015-2019 Capital Program, agency officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/21/2015