Battelle to Provide Safety Assessments for New York’s Queens Boulevard Line Modernization

Sept. 21, 2015

Safety is one of the most important factors of public transportation, and Battelle is bringing 40 years of experience to a new contract that will make one of New York’s busiest lines better.

“With this $3.1 million contract awarded by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), we will perform Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) and safety certification support for the design and implementation of Interoperable Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) on the Queens Boulevard Line (QBL) in the New York City Transit (NYCT) system,” said Katherine Hagaman, Battelle program manager.

The radio-based CBTC Implementation provides real-time data on vehicle position and speed conditions, allowing system operators to safely increase the number of vehicles on a rail line. This results in greater frequency of train arrivals and allows MTA to accommodate more passengers on its system.

The CBTC technology reduces the amount of wayside equipment and, as a result, reduces maintenance costs and service disruptions. Additionally, the technology precisely locates each train on the tracks and controls speed, improving safety and on-time performance for riders and employees. Development work is expected to begin on the Queens Boulevard line in September with the major installation beginning in mid-2017.

The new contract means that the world’s largest independent, non-profit research and development organization will continue its work on independent safety analyses in the New York City area. Uniquely qualified as the Independent Safety Assessor supporting The MTA/NYCT Interoperability CBTC modernization (Canarsie, Flushing, and Culver Test Track lines), Battelle has successfully performed ISA in support of NYCT for more than 17 years with an unblemished safety assessment record. 

To meet the demands for increased scrutiny on safety due to rail accidents, the evolving technology of advanced train control systems and new performance-based safety rules issued by the Federal Railroad Administration, Battelle provides an independent consultancy leveraging its depth of rail industry knowledge and its proven track record in safety-critical product/system design and analysis activities for all stakeholders.

An industry leader in the analysis of safety-critical products and systems for the rail industry, Battelle engineering experts are known for:

  • Developing the use of processor-based vital products in the rail and transit industry.
  • Industry leadership in the development of fail-safe design and implementation concepts, methods and standards for fail-safe processor-based equipment.
  • Bringing a detailed knowledge of train control and associated safety requirements and implications to the analysis and evaluation of the levels of safety in rail control systems.
  • Performing numerous system safety/ hazard analyses and system safety program development efforts in accordance with MIL-STD-882C, CENELEC, IEEE 1483-2000, AREMA, and FRA Rule Parts 236H and 236I.
  • Conducting numerous safety analyses of automatic train control equipment for railroads and transit authorities including CP, Alaska RR, CSXT, NYCT, BART, WMATA, MBTA, SEPTA, Hong Kong, St. Louis Metro, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Metros, MARTA, and many others.