DCTA receives $4M for PTC rail enhancements

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Photo courtesy of DCTA

The Denton County Transportation Authority has been awarded up to $4 million in grant funding for Positive Train Control rail enhancements.

The Federal Railroad Administration recently awarded the grant funding to DCTA to help with the continued implementation of PTC, a technology that can help prevent collisions and other incidents by automatically detecting and controlling the movement of trains which could save lives, according to a DCTA news release.

“Receiving this FRA grant is a huge win for the agency,” said Raymond Suarez, DCTA CEO. “Not only does it enhance our PTC technology, but it provides needed funding for us to continue towards our goal of implementing PTC and entering revenue service by the deadline.”

The FRA awarded a total of $203,698,298 in grant funding for 28 projects in 15 states to assist with the deployment of PTC systems.

DCTA has installed Enhanced Automatic Train Control which is a type of PTC system that uses an underlying automatic train control system in conjunction with other “enhanced” features or systems to achieve the core required functionalities of PTC, the news release said. The E-ATC system is designed to ensure train movement over properly aligned track switches, prevent over speeding, prevent trains from running past stop signals and align train movements with restrictive operating conditions caused due to track and road crossing conditions. E-ATC also allows DCTA to leverage its fiber networks that enhance its existing signal system.

The funds DCTA received from the FRA grant enables the agency to implement cut sections, PTC programming changes, insulated joints, track circuit monitoring equipment, dispatch software/hardware integration with the E-ATC system temporary speed restrictions server, support training, and testing along the A-train corridor. Overall, the benefits include increased system and service performance, as well as safety improvements.

DCTA is making progress for PTC testing and implementation, the news release said. All wayside (signal) and onboard (on the car) equipment were installed by January 2018. The agency completed static testing and dynamic testing has been ongoing since July. DCTA is the first public transit agency in Texas to begin testing on PTC and ranks in the top third of public transit agencies in the U.S. for PTC implementation progress.

For more information about DCTA’s progress of PTC testing and implementation, visit RideDCTA.net.

About The Author

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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