MTA Press Releases

Press Release
February 7, 2019
Metro-North Awarded Federal Grant to Enhance Implementation of Positive Train Control
Federal Railroad Administration Approves $2.3 Million Grant to Enhance PTC Performance

MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced that it has been awarded a grant of up to $2.3 million dollars from the Federal Railroad Administration to support Positive Train Control (PTC) communications testing. The grant, which is part of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program, will help Metro-North improve the performance of PTC radio spectrum utilization required to make PTC operational on the Northeast Corridor. 

PTC is a technology that enhances train safety behind the scenes by reducing the potential for human error to contribute to train-to-train collisions or derailments caused by a train traveling too fast into a curve or into a misaligned switch.   The system consists of equipment on board trains, on the side of the tracks and these systems communicate with a central control which requires radio spectrum to operate.

Metro-North was awarded the grant for its proposal to establish a test lab to help the railroad efficiently investigate radio spectrum issues and better meet the challenges of making PTC operationally reliable along the Northeast corridor. 

The test lab, comprised of a series of networked computer stations, will simulate how radio communications will operate and mitigate potential problems.  Radio spectrum is used by all passenger railroads that operate in the Northeast corridor, and so it’s essential to learn how all railroads can most effectively communicate with one another and avoid interference.


Catherine Rinaldi, Metro-North Railroad President said: “Safety is a core value of Metro-North, and this test lab will allow us to move ahead with full PTC implementation and ensure on-going service reliability. I congratulate our PTC team at Metro-North on this achievement, and we’ll continue to aggressively look for new and better ways to improve safety throughout the railroad.”

Congresswoman Nita Lowey said: “I’m proud to have helped secure this federal funding for PTC implementation, which is essential to protecting commuters and residents who must drive across rail crossings every day. With this latest funding, Metro-North should have more than enough resources to once and for all complete PTC implementation.”

U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney said: “We need PTC up and running ASAP and this investment will help Metro-North and other railroads clear some of the remaining hurdles to get that done. I’m happy to do my part in Washington to make these funds available, and I appreciate the fact that Metro-North is taking implementation seriously and actively working to secure federal investments to get PTC online. It’s going to save people’s lives.”