Canarsie Line Project Status

April 22, 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 (Bway Jct)
July   2002 Preliminary Design Review             
Mar   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
Sept  2005 Shadow Mode- Rockaway to Livonia                           
Oct   2005 First section CBTC in revenue service
Mar   2005    All cars equipped and ready for revenue service          
Spring 2006 CBTC in Service – entire Canarsie Line 
Aug    2006 Finish V3 and Availability/Reliability Demos                  

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).

The Design Review process is complete, except for V3 added functionality. 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 2003; 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 were completed in July 2004. 

Field integration testing with 2 equipped test trains began in November 2003 in the Rockaway Parkway to Broadway Jct. section.

  In the Rockaway Parkway to Broadway Jct. section, CBTC will first be placed in Shadow Mode to allow monitoring of the systems performance before the first cutover of CBTC.  Revenue service trains will have CBTC in a monitoring mode, transmitting data to and from the wayside, but not overriding the existing signals.  A limited number of CBTC test trains will also operate and they will receive Movement Authorities and CBTC aspects on the signals.  During this time, training trains will also operate for train operators to receive the hands-on portion of training on CBTC operation. This is scheduled to last 30 days, during which time NYCT and the CBTC JV will assess the systems readiness for cutover. 

NYCT has formed a System Safety Certification Board for CBTC and other new technology signal projects.  The Board is comprised of department heads representing Signals, Car Equipment, System Safety, Operations and Maintenance of Way.  The Board has been meeting regularly for 20 months and has certified two software releases for field testing and the permanent connection of 3 zone controllers to the wayside signal system. Since NYCT is self-certifying, this Board determines if there is sufficient evidence of safety documentation, closed hazards, operating rules and procedures, and training to place the system in revenue service. An extensive effort has been completed to write a Rulebook supplement for CBTC territory as well as operating procedures for train operators and ATS operators.

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 coordinated 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 95% 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 construction of relay and CBTC rooms and the installation of conventional wayside signal equipment is 100% complete;.  All new interlockings have now been placed in service (at Rockaway Parkway, Myrtle Avenue, Bedford Avenue, 3rd Avenue and 8th 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 late 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 2003, 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?