Illinois OmniTRAX affiliates obtain federal grant for PTC implementation

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CHICAGO – OmniTRAX Inc. affiliates Chicago Rail Link, LLC (CRL) and Illinois Railway, LLC (IR) were awarded a grant by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for the deployment of Positive Train Control (PTC) technology on the two lines. Under the FRA’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Grant Program, the CRL and IR will receive funds representing 70 percent of the PTC implementation costs.

The CRL and IR are required to deploy PTC on five locomotives they operate because their freight trains run on two of the busiest commuter corridors on Metra, the Chicago area’s passenger rail line. Specifically, CRL and IR must deploy PTC to maintain freight connectivity for customers on CRL between Mokena and Gresham and on the IR between Aurora and Eola.

“OmniTRAX is passionate about safety and putting PTC technology on the CRL and IR will make two of the safest short line railroads in the country even safer. The grant will allow scarce capital to be spent on targeted track upgrades and other safety and efficiency enhancements,” said Kevin Shuba, CEO of OmniTRAX.

"Our focus on safety and customer service is enhanced by the partnerships we have with strong and effective transportation policy leaders in Springfield and Washington. In addition to the support of Senators Duckworth and Durbin, Illinois Transportation Secretary Randall Blankenhorn was also an early and strong supporter of this safety improvement grant."

Both U.S. Senators Durbin and Duckworth strongly backed the grant and are gratified to see it awarded to the OmniTRAX -affiliated rail lines.

“Implementing PTC is vitally important to ensuring that our railroads have the highest level of safety for millions of riders and workers in Illinois and around the country,” Sen. Dick Durbin said. “Implementing PTC saves lives. With Chicago being the largest hub in the railroad industry, Senator Duckworth and I will continue working to ensure that our rail agencies have the federal resources needed to ensure safe and reliable transportation.”

–From an OmniTrax press release

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