Metrolink Positive Train Control (PTC) – Southern California

  • Southern California Regional Rail Authority / Metrolink
Contract Value

$118 million




Program/Construction Management (PM/CM)

Positive train control (PTC) is collision avoidance technology that monitors and controls train movements. It is intended to prevent train-to-train collisions, overspeed derailments, and movement of trains through switches left in the wrong position. To improve railroad safety in the United States, federal legislation mandated that passenger railroads and large freight railroads were required to install PTC on all main line track where intercity passenger and commuter railroads operated, as well as on lines carrying hazardous materials.

Our Role

Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), the governing board of Metrolink, hired Parsons to design, furnish, and install PTC technology on Metrolink’s 512-mile regional commuter rail system. As the prime contractor leading a vendor/integrator team, we managed the overall program as well as design, testing, integration, and commissioning services.

SCRRA placed its PTC system in revenue service, making it the first commuter railroad in the United States to have fully deployed a PTC system. Metrolink’s systemwide PTC implementation program consisted of four subsystems:

  • Office (back-office servers, computer-aided dispatching, and customer information system enhancements)
  • Communication network
  • Onboard segment
  • Wayside signal system

It also included integration, testing, and commissioning of all the various products and systems to provide a fully functional, FRA certified, PTC system. To ensure that the system fulfilled its intended purpose, we built a PTC lab to test and integrate components as they were developed. Our PTC lab was the first among commuter agencies to integrate and test components developed by multiple vendors to establish product compatibility. Our success at Metrolink became a PTC knowledge center for our other PTC projects.

Learn More

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