MTA Awarded Federal Grant to Develop Technology to Improve Safety and Operating Efficiencies

Thenaugural run of Metro-North 211, the New York Central heritage wrapped locomotive, Tuesday, November 14, 2023. (Brett Ulrich / MTA Metro-North Railroad)

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has received a $2 million federal grant from the United States Department of Transportation through its Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation Grants program.

The grant funds an automated railcar inspection system pilot that will allow Metro-North Railroad to conduct Federal Railroad Administration-mandated daily railcar inspections more efficiently. An automated system provides early detection of existing and future defects, allowing conditions to be addressed immediately and reducing repair and replacement time.

The automated detection system, used in addition to manual inspections, will allow for more proactive rolling stock maintenance, which will save money and reduce customer impacts, officials said.

“Metro-North is always looking for opportunities to innovate and be more efficient in how we maintain our systems and equipment and provide service to our customers,” said Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi. “With federal funding from SMART, we can explore new industry advancements to improve our maintenance practices, which will enhance the safety and overall reliability of our service.”

This project was one of 34 projects selected for the SMART Grants Program out of the 321 applications the federal transportation agency received. This is Stage 1 of a two-stage program, which includes planning and prototyping. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established this discretionary grant program with $100 million appropriated annually for fiscal years 2022-2026.

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