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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Quigley, Durbin, Duckworth Announce $1 Million in Federal Funds for Additional Safety Indicators at CTA’s Control Center

Jan 13, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL-5) and Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), has awarded the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) $1,078,300 to fund their Operations Control Center Safety Enhancements Project. The project would add additional safety indicators to the CTA’s Control Center (CC) and better integrate critical information collected from data. The CC coordinates service restoration, emergency responses, and day-to-day service that is provided to over 1.7 million CTA riders each day, across 224 miles of high voltage rail, and movement of over 1,800 buses daily.

“Investing in safety measures that modernize our infrastructure will help ensure Chicago remains a leader in safe, efficient, and innovative public transit,” said Rep. Quigley, who serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Transportation and my colleagues in Congress to support transportation improvements that move the city forward and keep its residents safe from harm.”

“This funding will help prevent and mitigate the potentially catastrophic effects of a train derailment or bus accident,” said Senator Durbin. “Having access to timely and reliable information will help improve both the safety of our public transit system in Chicago and public safety overall. I’m proud to work with my colleagues in both chambers to continue to modernize Chicago’s public transit infrastructure.”

“Improving Chicago’s public transportation system is vital to supporting a stronger workforce, and the improvements we’re funding today are especially important for Illinoisans living with a physical disability who rely on public transit,” said Senator Duckworth. “In addition to improving transit safety and reliability, this funding will provide critical improvements for ADA accessibility throughout Union Station, including wider train platforms, an additional elevator and the expansion of pedestrian tunnels to connect train lines.” 

The CTA anticipates that the deliverables of this project would provide for a pilot program, which will demonstrate a series of improvements to the CC-based train tracking tool called QuicTrac. These software upgrades would include the following: 1) Advancement of the tool to detect a loss of train detection by the signal system; 2) An overlay of the Worker Ahead wayside system on the QuicTrac display; 3) Detection of a red signal violation condition by a train; and 4) An overlay of the traction power status on the QuicTrac display.

CTA will demonstrate the possibility of using the QuicTrac data to alarm a red signal violation by a train. Using some simple logic statements at the CC and adding some additional information from the wayside signal system, it should be possible to trigger an alarm at the CC if a violation is detected. The CTA would also utilize traction power status information already available at the CC, and overlay this status information on the QuicTrac system. This overlay would provide useful information to the rail controller when under a number of conditions, including the ability to identify trains that are affected by a loss of traction power on a particular power section.