Evaluation of CBTC for Heavy/Light Rail

This Program is part of the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA's) efforts to promote the research and development of new technologies that will improve the safety and efficiency of rail transit system operation in the United States (US). The primary objective of this research study is to assess the benefits of Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) technology, and determine the ability of CBTC to supplant the functionality (operational, safety, etc.) provided by track circuits in conventional rail signaling systems. This question is of fundamental importance when considering the intended use of CBTC technology and will be given significant attention both in the research and data analysis portions of the study's report. This primary objective will be accomplished during the process of documenting and evaluating the implementation of CBTC technologies for both a heavy and light rail US transit system. The research undertaken by this Program will include the evaluation of current CBTC technologies, documentation of implementation issues and lessons learned, a comparative evaluation of the specific CBTC functional, performance and safety requirements against industry standards, and the needs for further research in Rail Transit Signal and Train Control applications. This research will be conducted at two transit properties: New York City (NYC) Transit, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). In 2006, NYC Transit completed a pilot CBTC installation on its Canarsie Line and became the first transit property in the US to implement CBTC technology on a heavy rail environment. Further, in 2010, NYC Transit awarded its second CBTC project to Thales, to modernize the signal installation on the Flushing Line, one of the busiest lines in the NYC Transit network. NYC Transit is currently planning a CBTC installation for its new Second Avenue Line. In 2006 SEPTA successfully implemented a CBTC system on the tunnel portion of its Green Line becoming the first Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line in the US to employ moving block CBTC. Implementation details including safety certification will be documented and analyzed. Further, the actual CBTC benefits achieved or expected at the selected transit lines will be identified and quantified. The data generated from this research will provide transit operators and local officials with a better understanding of CBTC technology, as well as an awareness of the implementation challenges, and the project management issues associated with CBTC projects.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Program Information: National Research Program, National Research


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $450000.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Department of Transportation

    Office of the Secretary
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Centolanzi, Patrick

  • Performing Organizations:

    Delcan International Corporation

    133 Wynford Drive
    North York, M3C 1K1,    
  • Principal Investigators:

    Rumsey, Alan

  • Start Date: 20110813
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20130926
  • Source Data: RiP Project 28921

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01489204
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: VA-26-7232
  • Files: RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 4 2013 1:00AM