Communications-Based Train Control

Quick Facts

  • Enhanced operational safety and line haul capacity
  • Improved operational efficiency of track forces and dispatching
  • No service disruption during train control system migration

Did You Know

CBTC will support mixed environments. Currently, the industry uses a variety of train control technologies to manage operations as trains move within different geographic areas. ARINC is enhancing CBTC functionality to allow railroads to operate in this mixed environment of train control systems, using a common IT platform. This technology is in the advanced testing and initial deployment phase.

Improving the efficiency of rail operations and enhancing system capacity are primary objectives in the railroad industry, second only to increasing safety. More trains on the tracks result in more congestion and potential service delays and safety issues.

A key way the industry is meeting this challenge is through communications-based train control (CBTC) technology, currently being implemented on rail-transit systems and mainline railroads across the country. CBTC tracks train locations and speeds more accurately than was previously possible, provides movement authorities to trains based on this precise information, and enforces speeds and limits of authority, as necessary.

Because CBTC results in better tracking of train locations and speeds, it provides greater efficiency, higher capacity, enhanced passenger and crew safety, and a safer environment for personnel working on the track.

ARINC leads the rail industry in the development of this technology, having been a CBTC systems engineering contractor for the freight railroad industry since 1985. ARINC is part of the systems engineering team that's implementing CBTC for New York City Transit, the largest rail-transit operator in the United States. We're also actively developing transit industry CBTC standards under the auspices of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).