California's North County Transit District, through its contract with Herzog Transit Service, Inc., will assume dispatching responsibility for the 60-mile coastal rail line that begins at the Santa Fe Depot in San Diego County and ends at the Orange County line.
In January 2011, NCTD awarded a contract to HTSI for the installation of a new train control management system and the provision of dispatch services for a 10-year period on the coastal rail line and the inland SPRINTER light-rail line that runs from Oceanside to Escondido.
HTSI has implemented the new train control system and assumed responsibility of dispatching the inland light-rail line from Veolia on July 9, 2011. HTSI has also successfully completed rigorous safety testing and federal and state audits that have validated their readiness to assume dispatch responsibilities for both rail lines.
NCTD owns the inland rail line and jointly owns the coastal rail line with the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. NCTD, through its joint ownership agreement with MTS, is responsible for the daily operations and maintenance of the entire coastal rail line. The coastal rail line in San Diego supports the operations of two commuter rail operators, COASTER and Metrolink, as well as Amtrak’s intercity service and two freight operators, BNSF and Pacific Sun. NCTD and HTSI have coordinated the implementation of the new train control system and assumption of dispatch responsibilities with all of the operators on the corridor.
“NCTD is pleased that HTSI has successfully completed all safety testing and audits necessary to dispatch both rail lines,” said Chris Orlando, NCTD Board chairman. “NCTD and HTSI are committed to ensuring that passenger and freight rail trains continue to move safely and efficiently.”
The assumption of dispatch responsibilities will assist NCTD in its efforts to better coordinate connections between buses and trains as the consolidation of dispatching the rail lines is part of a larger business initiative to centralize bus, rail, safety and security communications into one location.
This work is the lead-in to NCTD’s continuing effort to implement Positive Train Control ahead of the December 31, 2015 deadline.