Progressive Railroading


Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

All fields are required.

Rail News Home Positive Train Control


Rail News: Positive Train Control

Caltrain nixes PTC contract with Parsons

Parsons was slated to deliver a communications-based overlay signal system for the railroad.
Photo – Caltrain's Twitter account

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a comment from Parsons.]

Caltrain has terminated a positive train control (PTC) contract with Parsons Transportation Group following continued delays to deliver the project, the commuter railroad announced late last week.

The contract called for Parsons to design and implement a communications-based overlay signal system (CBOSS) for the railroad. However, there's been "an utter lack of progress in moving the project forward consistent with [Parsons'] contractual obligations," Caltrain officials said in a press release.

The decision to terminate the contract came after repeated intervention, peer reviews and increased oversight from the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (JPB) failed to improve the contractor's performance, according to Caltrain.

Caltrain has begun the process of identifying a replacement, agency officials said.

In addition, the railroad is taking all necessary actions — including litigation — to secure the benefit of the contract with Parsons and access to a performance bond to pay for costs associated with procuring a new integrator for completing the CBOSS project.

As a result of the pending litigation, Caltrain didn't provide any further detail of the conflict in its press release. However, the railroad is "confident that it will prevail in any independent legal review of the facts," Caltrain officials said.

Parsons officials maintain the contract was wrongfully terminated and that the Joint Powers Board "has no contractual or legal basis to consider Parsons in default of its contract," company spokeswoman Erin Kuhlman said in a statement.

In the past month, Parsons worked closely with the JPB to mutually agree on a revised milestone and completion schedule that the board proposed in December 2016, Kuhlman said.

"Parsons has provided the JPB with a detailed summary of the issues and events that have caused previous schedule delays — all of which are outside of Parsons' control and not caused by Parsons — and will take legal action against the JPB in order to protect its rights," she added.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/27/2017