Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor is the most heavily used passenger rail corridor in the United States extending from Washington, DC, to Boston, MA and serves more than 100 million passengers per year operating at speeds up to 150 MPH. Today, Amtrak’s centralized monitoring and control is conducted from facilities located in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, respectively controlling the southern, central, and northern territories of the corridor. Amtrak engaged Ross & Baruzzini to conduct a comprehensive study of both the traffic control systems and their larger control center facilities in use today and uncovered ways to improve operations, enhance security, and reduce maintenance costs.
Ross & Baruzzini conducted extensive interviews with Amtrak employees responsible for operations, security, maintenance, and management of the agency’s systems to determine needs for new system functionality and operational improvements. Departments interviewed included C&S, Electric Traction, Transportation, Rules, Information Technology, Maintenance, and the CETC program staff. From these investigations, Ross & Baruzzini developed a list of the functionality for the new CETC. We also evaluated alternative control center sites and developed backup plans to use in the event of an emergency requiring evacuation of the primary site – the result of which was moving the Philadelphia control center to an Amtrak facility in Wilmington. Amtrak later extended Ross & Baruzzini’s contract to include preparation of a technical design specification for a new train control system that will replace the three aging systems currently monitoring and controlling NEC service, supported Amtrak with selecting a supplier for the new CETC, and is now providing technical support during construction, including review of vendor design documentation; responding to technical questions; factory testing, and extensive field testing at Amtrak’s Wilmington facility.