Capital Metro awarded federal grant to improve MetroRail safety

MetroRail train (KXAN Photo)
MetroRail train (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Capital Metro’s MetroRail is one of 17 projects in 13 states that recently received federal funds to implement systems that help prevent derailments or train-to-train collisions.

Capital Metro says the $9.76 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will go towards implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) systems along the 32-mile MetroRail corridor.

Rail operators across the country must have PTC systems in place by the end of 2018. Capital Metro says the project will improve safety at the 81 highway-rail grade crossings along the MetroRail, as the system will allow for quicker response times for issues with crossing signals. The project is estimated to be completed by the end of 2018.

While the PTC system is a longer term project, next week, Capital Metro will make scheduled upgrades on the railroad bridge between Lakeline and Leander stations. The construction will affect the last morning departure from Leander to downtown station and the first afternoon train from downtown to Leander between Monday, June 5 and Friday, June 30.

Customers traveling southbound from Leander on the 8:40 a.m. train will board a dedicated bus to take them to Lakeline Station, where they will be able to catch the 9:22 a.m. southbound train. Customers traveling northbound to Leander on the 3:44 p.m. departure from downtown Station will transfer at Lakeline Station to a dedicated bus that will take them to Leander. For more information about MetroRail schedules, please visit capmetro.org.

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