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$280m contracts continue New York’s CBTC rollout

Subway station. Public Domain

VIDEO: The installation of Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) in one of the world’s most-used rail networks will continue, with a pair of contracts handed out in New York this month.

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced on July 20 that 67-month contracts had been awarded to Siemens Industry Incorporated, and Thales Transport & Security Incorporated, currently the only two MTA-qualified vendors for CBTC projects.

The Siemens contract is for approximately US$156.2 million, and Thales contract is for US$49.6 million. Together they are worth US$205.8 million, or roughly A$280 million.

The contracts cover the installation of a CBTC signalling system on the Queens Boulevard Line.

Known around the world as the Subway, New York City’s rapid transit system is one of the world’s largest, with 1,355km of track along 373km of defined routes, and 468 stations in operation.

The New York Subway served 1.75 billion passengers in 2014, making it the seventh-busiest metro system globally, behind only the Beijing Subway, the Shanghai Metro, the Seoul Subway, the Moscow Metro, the Tokyo Metro and the Guangzhou Metro.

The Queens Boulevard Line is one of the Subway’s busiest, with a daily ridership of more than 250,000 in 2014.

CBTC signalling, which is replacing the existing interlocking system, is currently in operation on the Canarsie Line (567,000 daily ridership in 2014), and is being installed on the Flushing Line (818,000 daily ridership in 2014).

“The CBTC signalling system is a vital part of our plan to address issues of overcrowding, record ridership and service delays,” MTA boss Thomas F. Prendergast said.

“CBTC represents the MTA’s efforts to bring advanced technology to a century-old subway system that, in some parts, has not been updated in decades.

“On the L Line [the Canarsie Line] where CBTC has been installed for several years now, we have seen improved service and we have been able to increase capacity significantly.

“Once we’re done installing CBTC on the 7 Line [the Flushing Line], those customers will also benefit from similarly improved and increased service, and the Queens Boulevard project is a continuation of our efforts to make those improvements system-wide.”

As well as awarding the two CBTC contracts to Thales and Siemens, MTA also approved a separate US$1.2 million contract for Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Incorporated, to develop and test CBTC software and systems, with the goal of qualifying an additional supplier for future CBTC projects.

“This process widens the pool of vendors to compete for such projects and increases the potential for cost savings for the MTA,” the authority said.

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