On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it will begin accepting applications from commuter railroads for the $199 million that has been made available for competitive grants for the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC). This amount was allocated specifically for Fiscal Year 2017 in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which was signed into law last December. The grants will be selected by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and awarded and administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. EST on September 28, 2016.
Projects eligible for grants must develop information that assists in implementing PTC systems, such as costs of installing PTC systems; back office systems; PTC interoperability; technologies that will lower costs, accelerate implementation, enhance interoperability between host and tenant operations, and improve reliability of PTC systems; and support PTC system certification. Eligible applicants include any entity that is eligible to receive grants from the FTA, such as commuter railroads, operators, and state and local governments.