Virgin Trains USA chooses Wabtec for PTC implementation
Worth $120 million, the contracts include the implementation of signalling and train control systems on the rail corridors between Miami to West Palm Beach, and West Palm Beach to Orlando.
Wabtec Corporation – a leading global provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions and value-added services for freight and transit rail – has secured agreements worth $120 million to implement signalling and train control systems for Virgin Trains USA. The project is a unique high-speed signalling and train control application for the North America market.
Virgin Trains USA, currently operating as Brightline until mid-2020, is an express intercity rail system in the United States, owned and operated by Fortress Investment Group, with Virgin Group providing branding rights and acting as a minority investor.
Virgin Trains USA began operating in January 2018, and as of November 2019, it is the only privately-owned and operated intercity passenger railroad in the United States.
Under various contracts, the PTC implementation will be executed in two phases. In the first phase, Wabtec will install its Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS®) PTC safety overlay on Virgin Trains USA’s 67-mile rail corridor between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida, including a back-office system and fitment of both freight and commuter locomotives. Phase two entails the installation of I-ETMS® along the West Palm Beach to Orlando rail corridor. Wabtec will conduct the complete design, material integration, construction, system integration, project management, and train control implementation and deploy a wireless crossing activation system for high-speed trains.
In total, Wabtec will equip 90 freight and commuter locomotives with its I-ETMS® train control technology. Separately, Wabtec will deliver signal design and implementation services for the phase two portion of the project.
Michael Cegelis, Executive Vice President, Rail Infrastructure, Virgin Trains, said: “Safety is our number one priority and PTC is a critical part of that mission. Wabtec’s PTC technology has an impressive track record in the rail industry, and this was the right solution to support the safe operation of our growing rail network. In addition, the simplicity of accommodating new and modified infrastructure to the system, and train operational efficiencies were features that were influential in selecting the I-ETMS technology.”
As an on-board geographic database and global positioning system, I-ETMS® provides an additional safety overlay by continuously calculating warning and braking curves based on all relevant train and track information including speed, location, movement authority, speed restrictions, work zones and consist restrictions. Intended to help prevent track authority violations, speed limit violations and unauthorised entry into work zones, I-ETMS® provides significant enhancements to rail safety.
Rajendra Jadhav, President of Wabtec’s Signaling, Communication and Wayside business, said: “This is a great opportunity to work on one of the most unique rail projects in the United States. Our PTC solution provides a robust path for Virgin Trains to meet its project schedule and goals.”