Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo visited Siemens' automation plant in Louisville, Ken., which is one of several companies across the country that are making key components for Positive Train Control (PTC) systems.
During his visit, Administrator Szabo highlighted the importance of the GROW AMERICA Act, the Obama Administration’s four-year $302-billion reauthorization bill now before Congress, which will provide $19 billion for rail, including $2.3 billion to help passenger rail lines deploy and implement PTC systems.
“The GROW AMERICA Act will provide states, industry and the public with the certainty that we’re able to maintain and expand our rail network to meet growing market demand, while helping to refuel our economy with good paying jobs,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
To meet the growing customer demand to engineer, manufacture and assemble rail automation systems, Siemens has hired 95 additional employees over the past year to support its rail automation business line. The Louisville plant employs 280 people, with 63 employees engaged in assembly and manufacturing.
“PTC technology is the backbone of the next generation of safety,” said Administrator Joseph Szabo. “This technology has the ability to stop a train, avert an accident and consequentially save lives. It is a powerful tool to help us mitigate human error and further reduce the number of train accidents.”
The Louisville plant engineers and produces signaling and train control systems. Currently, it produces PTC signaling, wayside signaling systems and crossing control bungalows for a variety of railroads, including Port Authority Trans-Hudson, the Long Island Rail Road, Canadian Pacific, Kansas City Southern, Canadian National and Norfolk Southern.
PTC is an integrated, command, control, communications and information system for controlling the movement of trains. In 2008, the system was mandated for use by Congress on all passenger lines and on certain critical segments of freight routes throughout the country.