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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Siemens leads consortium to upgrade PATH signaling system

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Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH) has placed an order worth $321 million with a consortium led by Siemens Mobility for the design, manufacture and installation of a new Communication-based Train Control System. Upgrading the PATH system to CBTC will increase the system's throughput to meet future peak time demands, in addition to increasing safety and reliability while reducing ongoing maintenance costs. The project is due to be completed in 2017.

The PATH rail system is over 100 years old and connects New York City and New Jersey. Running from both Newark and Hoboken in New Jersey to the World Trade Center and Herald Square in Manhattan, the network includes two tunnels under the Hudson River. PATH operates 24/7, running its trains on a total of 43 track miles and connecting 13 stations. With reconstruction under way for the World Trade Center site, forecasts project that the daily volume of 240,000 passengers will increase to 290,000 riders per day.

PATH is undergoing an upgrade to ATC using Communication-based Train Control technology. CBTC will reduce the distance between trains and, in tandem with other improvements, passenger capacity is expected to increase by up to 20 percent.

In addition, the consortium will provide and install a state-of-the-art conventional signaling system. To implement CBTC technology, specialized computer and communications equipment will be installed on many of its rail cars. Siemens will supply its Trainguard MT CBTC equipment for 130 of the 340 new railcars currently being procured by PATH. An option exists to equip up to 90 more cars. Coupled with equipment to be installed along the tracks, the system will allow trains to run more closely together.

In addition to this increase in capacity, a new Siemens-provided train supervision system will help PATH operate more efficiently and know exactly where each train is located in its rail network.


The Siemens-led consortium includes Invensys Rail Corporation (formerly Safetran Systems) and D/A Builders, LLC, a joint venture between Daidone Electric of Newark, N.J., and Aldridge Electric of Libertyville, Ill.