Capital Metro Receives $9.8 Million Federal Grant

Funding will upgrade MetroRail infrastructure, implement positive train control

AUSTIN, Texas - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced yesterday, May 31, that Capital Metro will receive $9.76 million in grants.

The funding will go toward implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) systems along the 32-mile MetroRail corridor. PTC systems are important for the provision of rail safety. They are designed to prevent derailments or train-to-train collisions and to ensure trains are not guided onto the wrong track due to a switch being left in the wrong position.

The federal government has given a deadline of December 31, 2018 for rail operators to implement PTC systems. The funding was authorized in the 2015 Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, and the FRA and FTA received 27 applications requesting $455 million, well more than twice the available $197 million. Yesterday's announcement revealed that 17 projects in 13 states received funding.

Capital Metro will use the grant funding to help install the fiber communications network for an Enhanced Automatic Train Control (E-ATC) PTC system. The project will improve safety at the 81 highway-rail grade crossings along the MetroRail Red Line, as the system will allow for quicker response times for issues with crossing signals. The procurement process for the system will begin in June, and the project is estimated to be completed by the end of 2018.

“We're grateful to the U.S. DOT, the FRA and the FTA for this grant funding,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson. “It will assist us in meeting the federal deadline to install PTC systems and continue to provide safe rail service for Central Texas. We especially want to thank Sen. John Cornyn and Congressmen Michael McCaul and Roger Williams for the tremendous support they have given to the agency during this process.” 
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Mariette Hummel, 917-592-8633