Caltrain CBOSS PTC Project

Caltrain is currently working on the Caltrain Communications Based Overlay Signal System (CBOSS) Positive Train Control (PTC) Project to develop a new advanced signal system. The Caltrain CBOSS PTC Project will meet two specific criteria:

  • Meet the Federal mandate to implement PTC by 2015; and
  • Increase system capacity to allow for future increases in ridership demand.

Benefits from PTC
The Caltrain CBOSS PTC Project will include PTC requirements as federally mandated by the Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which requires the installation of PTC on all commuter railroads and some freight railroads by 2015. PTC helps to eliminate train-to-train collisions and over-speed mishaps (trains exceeding the civil speed limit). The train will be automatically stopped when there is a violation of speed or when there is a violation of route. It also provides additional safety for railroad workers on the tracks and requires interoperability between all rail services operating on the same tracks. This interoperability assures compliance among all vehicles using the same tracks with the PTC system. This is important for Caltrain as other operators on Caltrain tracks include commuter rail, freight, and future high-speed rail.

Additional CBOSS Benefits for Caltrain
The Caltrain CBOSS PTC Project also specifies additional capabilities to enable increased safety and operating performance for Caltrain and future high-speed rail service. These additional benefits include:

  • Increased operating performance of the current signal system, enabling more frequent and more dependable passenger service to meet growing demand.
  • Improved grade crossing warning functions.
  • Integrated communication among all subsystems (such as the central control facility, train and wayside) for improved safety performance for highway vehicles and the riding public.
  • Safe operations between Caltrain and other tenant railroads including future high-speed rail.

Capacity Benefits
The most crucial factor constraining the current capacity Caltrain is the wayside signal system. In early 2008, Caltrain began the Caltrain CBOSS PTC Project to develop advanced signal system requirements that include PTC core safety functions and operational performance enhancements to overcome the constraints imposed by the current conventional wayside signaling and crossing warning systems to enable future service increases.

Electrification & High Speed Rail Benefits The Caltrain CBOSS PTC Project will be designed to work with Caltrain's existing diesel-based service and will also be compatible with future plans to electrify the Caltrain system. The Caltrain CBOSS PTC Project allows Caltrain to fully utilize the high-performance capabilities of its future electric-powered fleet. Caltrain is also working in coordination with the California High Speed Rail Authority to ensure that the project is compatible with future high-speed rail service. California voters approved the high-speed rail bond proposition on Nov. 4, 2008, and state high-speed rail officials have designated the Caltrain corridor as the alignment between San Jose and San Francisco.

Project Schedule

  • Critical design: Present – Fall 2012
  • Final design: Fall 2012 - Spring 2013
  • Installation and Testing: Spring 2013 – 2015
  • Begin revenue service: Fall 2015

Project Cost
PTG Base Contract with Fiber Option
$138 million
JPB Project Management Oversight and Other Direct Costs (ODCs) including Taxes and Facility Lease
$48 million
Options and Allowance (Spectrum purchase, additional Warranty, spares, etc)
$34 million
$11 million
$231 million

CBOSS PTC JPB Board Presentation (490KB)
News Release: Federal Grant Move Modernization of Caltrain Corridor Forward

10/25/2011 - choy