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Project Profile: MBTA Positive Train Control

MBTA Positive Train Control

photo credit: MBTA


Boston Metropolitan Region, Massachusetts

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

Program Areas

Alternative Project DeliveryProject FinanceValue CaptureTIFIA

Fiscal Year Closed

Fiscal Year 2018


Commuter Rail


The project implements positive train control (PTC) technology and associated supporting infrastructure required to comply with federally-mandated PTC requirements (49 CFR 236, Subpart I). The project will be applied to the full MBTA commuter rail system covering approximately 400 combined track miles (purple lines on the map). It consists of the installation of onboard controls, wayside signals, system-wide communications, and an upgraded, centralized dispatch.

The project provides significant safety benefits by addressing the impacts of human error to automatically reduce train speeds or stop trains to avoid a collision or derailment. The system can prevent trains from traveling at excessive speed through or entering work zones without proper authority, keep trains from being routed though misaligned switches, and protect the movement of trains through failed or inoperative grade-crossing systems. The interoperable system accommodates tenant and host railroads sharing tracks.


$516.7 million (TIFIA eligible project costs)

Funding Sources

TIFIA loan - $162.0 million

Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan - $220.0 million

Project Delivery / Contract Method


Private Partner

Design-builder / Systems integrator: Ansaldo STS USA

Project Advisors / Consultants

Jacobs/LTK - Program management

Keolis - Implementation support

To USDOT Build America Bureau

  • TIFIA Financial Advisor - Infrastructure Management Group, Inc.
  • TIFIA Legal Advisor - Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom LLP


Duration / Status

Design-build contract awarded 2015

Hardware installation 2017 - 2018

Software installation 2018 - 2020

Installation complete by the end of 2020

TIFIA Credit Assistance

Direct Loan - $162.0 million

The TIFIA loan is secured by pledged state sales tax revenues.

Financial Status

TIFIA credit agreement was signed on December 8, 2017. The TIFIA loan will mature in January 2039.

  • Not available
Related Links / Articles

MBTA Commuter Rail Positive Train Control
MBTA PTC Program Update - March 6, 2017
Federal Railroad Administration Positive Train Control


MBTA PTC Hotline
Tel: (617) 721-7506

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