FRA Grant Supports Continued Research into PTC Wireless Communication Systems

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is issuing a $1.4 million grant to the Railroad Research Foundation to continue development and testing of wireless communications devices and systems for use with Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) technology.

CBTC is a form of Positive Train Control (PTC) that can automatically control train speed and movements to ensure safe movements should a locomotive engineer fail to take appropriate action.

In addition to advancing technical development of such technologies, grant funds will be used to: continue work on a portable remote operation device so employees on the ground can authorize a PTC-equipped train to enter a work zone with speed restrictions; design and build a Universal Onboard Platform that will allow a locomotive to easily switch between different PTC operating systems; and develop a higher performance data radio to ensure that wireless communications are reliably transmitted and received.