Canarsie Line CBTC Project Status

June 24, 2004

 Update Provided by G. Hubbs, NYC Transit

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NYCT selected the “CBTC Joint Venture” of Siemens Transportation Systems Inc. (formerly MATRA Transport International), Union Switch & Signal, Inc. and RWKS Comstock to be the Lead Contractor for Phase II of the NYCT Canarsie Line Communications Based Train Control Project. A 5-year contract worth $133 million was awarded in December 1999. 

Phase II of the Canarsie Line project involves resignaling the entire Canarsie Line (22 track miles) and furnishing CBTC equipment for 212 new R143 cars.  Siemens is responsible for the design and supply of the carborne and wayside CBTC subsystems (including the data communications system); an Automatic Train Supervision subsystem and overall project management and systems integration. US&S is responsible for the design and supply of Auxiliary Wayside System (AWS) including six relay-based interlockings, track circuits, wayside home and approach signals and automatic train stops.  RWKS Comstock is responsible for equipment installation and associated  equipment room construction.

The CBTC system proposed by the Joint Venture for the Canarsie Line is based on the RATP Meteor Line system that successfully enter service in October 1998. The major changes are those required to accommodate NYCT's specific operating environment (e.g. Meteor Line is driverless - Canarsie Line is not; Meteor Line uses inductive loop - Canarsie Line uses radio). NYCT's objectives are to maximize the reuse of the Meteor Line design in order to minimize new software development and associated safety re-certification risks. The Meteor Line system was specifically developed to support mixed-mode operations which was one of the attractions for NYCT.

Key Milestones  

July 2001 First New Interlocking in Service (Broadway Junction)    
 July 2002 Preliminary Design Review     
March 2002 Preliminary Interoperability Interface Specs Prepared 
 Jul  2003 Final Design Review-Initial SW Version 
     Nov 2003 Start carborne equipment installation  
 Oct  2003 Initial CBTC Testing begins    
 Oct  2004 Shadow Mode- Rockaway to Livonia    
Nov 2004 First section CBTC in revenue service  
    Nov 2004 All cars equipped and ready for revenue service 
 Apr  2005 CBTC in Service – entire Canarsie Line    
Dec 2005 CBTC in service – Canarsie Yard   

During the Preliminary Design Phase, NYCT has worked closely with the CBTC Joint Venture to establish final system and subsystem requirements and interoperability interface  specifications.  This includes approval of the System Functional Specifications and the System Design Document which are intended to freeze the system functional requirements and lead to the designs for each subsystem. Some new functional requirements have been identified in this process, including the addition of CBTC protection in yards, a traffic interlock for RM mode and detection of wrong-side track circuit failures.  These functions will be introduced as a later software version (V3) in 2005.

The Design Review process is complete, except for V3 added functionality. The remaining submittals are test procedures/results and  system safety analyses.  NYCT has completed  First Article Inspections for each subsystem’s hardware and all hardware has now been delivered.  Factory Acceptance Tests for the initial software version were  completed in December; these integration tests are functional tests performed on actual system hardware (zone controller, carborne controller, ATS, and DCS) connected as a system. Factory Acceptance Tests of the complete software version 2.2 will be held in mid July.  Field integration testing with 2 equipped test trains began in November in the Rockaway Parkway to Broadway Jct. section and continues daily.

NYCT has formed a System Safety Certification Board for CBTC and other new technology signal projects.  The board now meets monthly until the safety certification is completed.

Since NYCT is self-certifying, this board will determine if there is sufficient evidence of safety documentation, closed hazards, operating rules and procedures, and training to place the system in revenue service.  The University of Virginia has been retained to conduct a risk based safety assessment of the current signal system and the CBTC system.  They have presented their initial  results of modeling the existing Canarsie Line system and are continuing work on the CBTC portion.

The carborne CBTC equipment is being  installed by NYCT forces on new R143 cars built by Kawasaki. These cars feature AC traction, full width cabs, and wide use of train networks. The CBTC interfaces to the cars have been carefully co-ordinated so that the cars will be “CBTC ready”.  This means that space, power and all interface wiring for CBTC is provided, making equipment installation a relatively simple task.  The first of these units, made of 4 car semi-permanently coupled cars, was delivered in May 2001 and all cars have now been delivered.  CBTC equipped has been installed on 55% of the cars.

The carborne CBTC is using of an optical speed and position measurement system (OSMES) that is independent of the wheel-rail interface. The speed and distance measurement is based on optical principles, using a laser diode source that projects a collimated beam of invisible light on the top of the running rail.  The reflection of any laser beam produces an interference pattern, typically speckled, which is practically unique for each portion of the incident surface.  The reflected speckle image of the rail is reflected back into the OSMES device where a picture of the pattern is taken with a CCD camera. An accelerated program to develop this system into a production device had to be undertaken as well as solving many application obstacles, including severe clearance and environmental restrictions. The 1 year revenue testing of the OSMES optical positioning and speed sensing subsystem began in early February 2003 and has resumed after 2 months of downtown for mechanical mounting issues.

Zone controllers, wayside transponders, radio cases and radio masts have been installed in 100% of the line .  The installation of conventional wayside signal equipment is 90% complete; construction of relay and CBTC rooms is  complete. The new interlocking at Rockaway Parkway was placed in service (pre-CBTC) in Nov 2002, on schedule, including a revised track layout to allow direct movements into all yard tracks from the mainline.  A major track reconfiguration occurred at Atlantic Avenue in September to bring the northbound mainline parallel to the southbound and eliminate ½ mile of 10 MPH running,  redundant yard trackage and elevated structure.  New interlockings have been placed in service at Myrtle Avenue, Bedford Avenue and 3rd Avenue.


The CBTC Joint Venture will also establish Interoperability Interface standards for future CBTC systems on NYCT (Phase III). The objective of Phase III is to successfully develop and validate Interoperability Interface Specifications so that multiple contractors are pre-qualified to bid on future NYCT CBTC equipment procurements (both wayside and carborne).  Phase III is also not, in any way, a consensus standard development effort; the system architecture, functional allocations, interfaces and protocols are defined by the Leader.  The Follower contracts were awarded to Alstom and Alcatel  for $13 to $16 million each and will involve demonstrating interoperability on the Culver Test Track.  These demonstrations will take place in 2004 and 2005.

The Preliminary Interoperability Interface Specifications were delivered in March 2002.

A substantial update to these specifications was delivered in December 2002. An update based on  review by NYCT and the Followers was issued in January 2004.  In October, Alstom notified NYCT that they were discontinuing their participation in Phase III; NYCT has issued an RFI seeking other signal suppliers interested in participating in the Interoperability program and has received multiple encouraging responses. 

Interoperability for NYCT primarily means cars equipped by one CBTC contractor can operate with wayside systems supplied by another contractor and vice versus.  Interoperability is also required between coupled 4 car sets equipped by different contractors, and between adjacent wayside territories by different contractors.  NYCT is not looking to achieve interchangeability of subsystems or subsystem components.

What’s after Canarsie?

NYCT is designing the new 2nd Avenue subway line with CBTC and in January  started the Flushing Line (#7) CBTC design.  A consultant contract for design and construction support services for both projects was awarded to  Parsons Transportation Group, in association with Booz Allen Transportation, ARINC, Abacus Technology, Dnutch Associates and KKO & Associates. 

NYCT is actively seeking licensed radio frequencies for CBTC from the Federal Communications Commission. 

An order of 1700 R160 B-Division cars from Alstom/Kawasaki is underway; these cars will also have space, wiring and interface provisions for CBTC.

Transportation Systems Design, Inc. (TSD.ORG)
Revised:  24 June 2004