Teamwork And Technology Bring Positive Train Control Safety System To NJ TRANSIT

As New Jersey’s public transportation corporation, NJ TRANSIT aims to provide safe, reliable, convenient, and cost-effective transit service. Covering 5,325 square miles of service area, NJ TRANSIT is the third largest provider of bus, rail, and light rail transit in the United States, with thousands of busses, trains and light rail vehicles linking major points in New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia.

To improve safety and adhere to the federally implemented Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, NJ TRANSIT sought a partner to help implement a Positive Train Control (PTC) system across its 12 statewide rail lines. PTC systems are advanced technology solutions designed to improve the safety of rail transit and protect riders. Facing a deadline of December 31, 2020, NJ TRANSIT partnered with us to ensure success.  

In partnership with NJ Transit, we develop and implement a custom PTC solution that adheres to Federal Railroad Administration guidelines and maximizes the region’s existing rail infrastructure.

Overcoming setbacks and challenges over the course of the implementation – including the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic – we demonstrated tremendous teamwork and an unyielding focus on quality delivery.

With 440 locomotives outfitted with PTC equipment, 2,497 field transponders, and 170 Wayside Interface Units installed, the installation was set for formal testing.  Starting with entrance into Revenue Service Demonstration on a segment of the Morristown Line in mid-March, we progressively completed and entered Extended Revenue Service Demonstration on all 376 miles, which included over 35,000 successful tests on the NJ TRANSIT’s territory and the Conrail (Lehigh) line.

Collaboration between NJ TRANSIT and our team was just the start. The PTC milestone could not have occurred without support from the other train operators sharing common rail infrastructure with NJ TRANSIT, including Amtrak, Conrail, and Norfolk Southern.

PTC is now an embedded part of NJ TRANSIT’s railway operations. As NJ TRANSIT and other railroads across the United States move into the next phase of PTC – “PTC 2.0” – we stand ready to help maximize their PTC investments with RailPulse™, a new software solution that unlocks the data generated by PTC systems to allow for more efficient troubleshooting, reporting, and diagnostics.

To learn more about our leading rail solutions, please visit our Rail and Transit page.

About The Author

Chris Calvagna is vice president, connected infrastructure for the NY/NJ area. He helps deliver transit innovation, new technology deployment, and project excellence as a key member of the New York and New Jersey team for Parsons.

About The Author

Terry L. Fetters is the principal project manager for the NJ TRANSIT PTC Project. Terry has supported Parsons projects all over the world for nearly 20 years, and he and Chris led the Parsons team in implementing the PTC solution for NJ TRANSIT.

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