Indianapolis, Ind.– Today, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly welcomed a major federal grant of up to $8.08 million to the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) to help implement positive train control systems (PTC) on the South Shore Line running between South Bend and Chicago. The award was made by the Federal Railroad Administration.
Donnelly said, “As a strong supporter of the South Shore Line, I’m pleased to see this significant federal grant awarded to help NICTD improve safety and operations on the rail line between South Bend and Chicago. The South Shore Line is a critical component of northern Indiana’s economy. Implementing positive train control systems on these trains will make the South Shore Line an even safer and more reliable method of transportation for these commuters.”
NICTD President Mike Noland said, “We are thrilled to be a recipient of funding for PTC from the Federal Railroad Administration. Prior to this funding, 100% of PTC project costs have come from NICTD sources. This funding will not only help NICTD complete its vital PTC project; it will also free up much-needed resources for other critical NICTD Capital initiatives. We thank the FRA and especially our northwest Indiana Congressional delegation, who have demonstrated continued support to make this critical safety initiative possible.”
Donnelly has been a vocal advocate of funding for the South Shore Line, including pushing for adequate funding of the Capital Investment Grants Program.
Donnelly has long supported implementing PTC, a communications and signaling system that has been identified by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as a technology capable of preventing certain types of accidents. In 2015, he helped the Senate pass a deadline extension for PTC implementation to allow for rail operators such as the South Shore Line to be able to implement the systems without a lapse in service.