The first Stadler Electric Multiple-Units (EMU) were brought into San Francisco Station allowing visitors a first look at the beautiful electric trains.
We are honored to be working on the implementation of this monumental project that is reshaping the Peninsula corridor and the future of train electrification.
The CapMetro Positive Train Control Implementation Project received the AGC of America’s Merit Award for “Highway & Transportation Renovation” at the Annual Convention in Dallas, TX. We congratulate the team for their efforts and appreciate this honor!
We are excited to be part of Austin's effort to boost capacity along the northern stretch of MetroRail’s Red Line. The team is working with Capital Metro to add a second track from Lakeline Station to Leander Station.
We are proud to have Anthony as part of the Modern Railway Systems family. We celebrate this achievement and look forward to his bright future!
Modern Railway Systems was established 10 years ago on September 12, 2011. Since then we have been committed to the quality and safety of transportation systems throughout the U.S. and Canada. Here’s to many more years of MRS!
Modern Railway Systems pioneered E-ATC as a vital solution to the PTC legislation enacted in 2008. These efforts required MRS to work at the top level with our nation’s regulatory authorities to obtain compliance and certification. On November 18, 2020 the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) received vital PTC certification from the FRA for their FrontRunner commuter rail system. Capital Metro and TriMet (as a tenant on the Portland & Western Railroad), have also achieved vital certification in the last six months. Modern Railway Systems was instrumental in the implementation of the E-ATC solution for each of these agencies.
Currently there are only two other systems that have vital certification for PTC - ACSES II/ASES II and ITCS. Both designs, like E-ATC, involve enhancements to existing systems. These designs are in use by Amtrak and New York MTA commuter railroads.
The remaining railroads operating with PTC have their PTC Safety Plans FRA approved as non-vital.
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) has received vital positive train control (PTC) certification from the Federal Railroad Administration for their FrontRunner commuter rail system. Federal regulations require all heavy rail, freight, and commuter train systems, including UTA’s FrontRunner, to fully implement all aspects of PTC by Dec. 31, 2020.
The design and implementation of Enhanced Automatic Train Control (E-ATC) was pioneered by Modern Railway Systems as a result of the Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) of 2008. The existing Automatic Train Control (ATC) system was already in compliance with many of the requirements of RSIA. However, E-ATC implemented PTC functionality for temporary speed restrictions (TSR) and mandatory directives (MD) into the back office and wayside signaling controllers. UTA’s E-ATC system provides more flexibility for the TSR function than other similar systems as it can have up to five different speeds to choose from when issuing a TSR. This seemingly small function required extensive design and testing to implement on the system but was able to greatly increased UTA’s operational efficiency in some situations.
Modern Railway Systems (MRS), in a joint venture with MJG Inc., designed and implemented the complex PTC system which brought the FrontRunner system into compliance with the federal mandate on time.
Modern Railway Systems' subsidiary company, Modern Manufacturing, has expanded their operations to the United States opening a new 47,000 sf facility in Eudora Kansas. This new facility will feature state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment to produce high quality signaling equipment for the railroad industry.
Modern Railway Systems partnered with Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CMTA) in September 2017 to achieve what many considered an impossible task. The implementation of a completely new signal system required by the Rail Safety Improvement Act 2008, which introduced the most extensive overhaul of the rail safety regulations in the history of railroading. On August 10, 2020 the CMTA E-ATC system was completely in service and had obtained FRA Vital Certification. This status, enjoyed by very few railroads, was reached ahead of the FRA mandated date and in just 35 months.
Modern Railway Systems along with Stacy and Witbeck have successfully completed the 28-day shutdown of the Steel Bridge Rehabilitation Project. According to TriMet “This will mark the end of TriMet’s biggest light rail revitalizations efforts in 34 years.” This was a tireless effort by our teams who worked round-the-clock to reopen the bridge to full services ahead of schedule.
On May 11, Portland and Western Railroad (PNW) and TriMet became the first operating railroad in the country to fully implement and receive certification for their PTC system. This marks the culmination of years of work to implement the Enhanced Automatic Train Control (E-ATC) system on their system to help them comply with the Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) of 2008.
This federal mandate modified railroad safety regulations by mandating the use of PTC technology. So, MRS designed, furnished, installed, and implemented the first E-ATC type PTC on the TriMet WES commuter rail. This upgrade to their existing signaling system brought TriMet’s commuter rail system into compliance with the FRA mandate and was delivered at a significantly lower cost and impact to operations than the existing freight solution.
To do so, MRS took an active role to understand the new requirements and to develop what became the E-ATC solution that could meet the mandate by utilizing existing technology rather than requiring a redundant and expensive overlay system. Because MRS has already implemented an automatic train control (ATC) system on TriMet’s WES line, which met most of the federal requirements, the E-ATC solution was an efficient, cost-effective solution that increased the probability of a successful transition from ATC to PTC.
TriMet’s original ATC System, provided by MRS, already met most of the PTC requirements. MRS enhanced the software that controls, civil speed limits, temporary speed restrictions in work zones, and some automatic grade crossing protections, by upgrading the existing system to E-ATC.
One particular benefit our team was able to bring to the process was streamlining the testing procedures. In order to meet the December 2018 deadline, the team developed an innovative solution to perform the large amount of field testing required to fully validate the entire set of E-ATC functions. We identified and introduced a new software testing application, the Vital-Sim Logic Simulator (VSLS), and demonstrated its use to the FRA. The program was deemed acceptable for use in commissioning certain aspects of the integrated system. Our use of the VSLS software saved man-hours for signal engineers and improved the accuracy and efficiency of engineering and programming processes.
Our team’s work on the WES commuter rail PTC project paved the way for multiple other commuter railroads to use MRS’ E-ATC solution to comply with the PTC mandate.
MRS was the recipient of the Best Use of Technology award for the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) on Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CMTA) Red Line commuter rail in Austin, Texas. MRS was recognized in the May 2020 RT&S publication.
When considering the federal mandate to change the means and method of operation for the next 100 years, MRS took an active role to understand the new requirements and to develop a solution that would meet the requirements by utilizing existing technology rather than requiring a redundant expensive overlay system.
MRS proposed Enhanced-Automatic Train Control to CMTA as the solution that most effectively met the requirements of the MetroRail corridor. The factors influencing this decision were, no radio spectrum required, inherent broken rail detection, proven technology, no new development, no hardware changes, less disruption to operations, less training required and a much higher probability of a successful transition to PTC. In comparison to other PTC solutions, this provided less risk to the implementation and was provided at a lower cost.
MRS and the Austin PTC Project Team are honored to be the recipient of this industry recognition and look forward to continued success in leading the Railway Signaling industry.
Our Westside Express Service (WES) Positive Train Control (PTC) project was selected by the Associated General Contractors of America as the winner of a 2020 Construction Risk Partners Build America Award at their annual convention in Las Vegas. This was a highly technical project to design, furnish, install, test, and validate the PTC system on TriMet’s 17-mile commuter rail service that operates on shared track with Portland and Western Railroad’s (PNWR) freight operations.
This project was important for TriMet and PNWR so they could comply with the Federal Railroad Association (FRA) Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requiring PTC technology to be installed on track that carries passengers and certain hazardous materials. PTC uses highly advanced technologies to improve railroad safety by preventing certain human-caused collisions between trains and derailments due to excessive speed. It also prevents trains from proceeding into work zones and moving through switches left in the wrong position.
MRS enabled TriMet to comply with the new regulations by developing an alternative solution and upgrading their existing Automatic Train Control (ATC) signaling system using the first Enhanced-Automatic Train Control (E-ATC) type PTC solution in the U.S. MRS did so at a significantly lower cost than the freight railroad solution and with minimal impact to rail operations.
MRS is currently the only contractor working with the FRA, commuter rail owners, Alstom Signaling, and others in the E-ATC Working Group to secure commonality for E-ATC type PTC.
May 2017 Stacy and Witbeck, Inc. (SWI), one of the largest and most respected rail transit contractors in the country, has established a new operating subsidiary, Modern Communications Systems (MCS), to address a wide variety of communication system requirements related to the rail transit industry. On September 30, 2016 SWI acquired Rail Services Corp. (RSC) of Denver, Colorado and merged RSC operations with MCS. MCS assumed all existing RSC operations through its headquarters in Denver. Through this acquisition the Modern Team is expanding and diversifying our offerings to provide a broader range of solutions to our customers.
MRS recently completed the acquisition of Custom Steel Manufacturing Limited, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Custom Steel is now operating as Modern Manufacturing Limited (MML). MML is a custom manufacturer of high-precision metal fabrications, specializing in aluminum, stainless steel, and other high-strength metals. Their success in market leadership and advanced innovation is manifested in its long-standing relationships in the Canadian Class I market. MML provides advanced signaling solutions in the areas of signal masts, signal bridges, cantilevers, instrument houses, LED color light products, and other related railway products.
This $120M Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project (MCCTP) is part of the San Diego Association of Government’s (SANDAG) CM/GC 1 Projects, the purpose of which is to improve corridor mobility, boost transit ridership and improve connectivity, improve regional air quality, ensure equitable distribution of transit services, provide additional rail capacity, and support opportunities for sustainable development. MCCTP will be a light rail transit system owned and operated by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.