Utah Transit Authority (UTA)

Grade Crossing Warning Systems and LRT Value Engineering

Automatic Highway Crossing Warning Systems

LTK provided preliminary engineering services for Automatic Highway Crossing Warning (AHCW) systems at 5900 South Street, 9000 South Street, 9800 South Street, and 11400 South Street. Work included preparing site-specific specifications and drawings for each of the four streets.

The AHCW system was designed for local freight-only operation and to provide for conversion in the future to LRT operation combined with local freight. LTK ensured that the physical design of these crossing improvements will be compatible with the proposed LRT system construction so that future LRT system implementation can derive the maximum benefit from this current construction. UTA at Crossing

LTK coordinated the AHCW system design efforts to ensure compatibility with the proposed automatic train protection system, traffic light preemption (one location), passenger station locations and site-specific street design elements. Additionally, LTK reviewed the impact of freight rail traffic through the project areas, upon crossing warning system design, and prepared preliminary specifications and reports defining the following for each location: physical layouts of AHCW crossing apparatus, required interface with traffic light preemption systems, recommended system operational and hardware criteria, identification of necessary documentation to be submitted to local and state regulatory authorities, construction contract recommendations, and preliminary construction cost estimates.

LTK provided design services for track alignment and drainage issues at 9000 South Street. Work included providing the UTA with alternatives for track geometry in the northward approach to 9000 South Station while maintaining a 55 mph track speed in the approach without encroaching on adjacent private property. Adjacent drainage issues were also addressed.

Value Engineering (VE)

As part of a Value Engineering team, LTK provided the UTA with VE for vehicles and systems, including automatic train protection and grade crossings. As a result of the VE, the proposed signal system was simplified and will be more suitable for light rail use.

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Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

Resignaling of the CTA Dearborn/Congress/Kennedy/Block 37 Train Control System

Chicago, IL

STC03LTK is serving as prime consultant for the re-signaling of the DCKBL37. The work includes design of:

  • A new signal block layout to support 75-second headways, 10 car trains
  • 20 miles cab signal system with trip stops employed at certain locations to support the new block layout
  • 21 new microprocessor interlockings
  • New signal power system
  • A new fiber optics based communications system
  • Connecting the Dearborn and State Street Subways via Block 37
  • Traction power changes supporting the above
  • Civil / structural changes supporting the above.

During the construction phase, LTK will be providing overall engineering design support to the CTA.

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Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

Signal Maintenance Training

LTK was selected by the CTA to conduct training classes for 70 potential new signal maintainers in years 1995 and 1998.  LTK was selected for this assignment due to its intimate knowledge of the signal systems and various types of signal equipment currently in use on the CTA.

The classes consisted of both lectures and practical experience in either the signal lab at Hawthorne MTC or 31st and Federal, and in the field. Basic theory and trouble-shooting for the following signal items and/or systems was also covered:

  • Print Reading, Symbols and Nomenclature
  • Block Signals (used on Congress, State & Dearborn subways)
  • Single Rail ac Track Circuits (used on Congress, State and Dearborn subways and at interlockings)
  • Audio Frequency Track Circuits and Cab Signals
  • Switch Machines, Train Stops and Heaters Operation Maintenance, Adjustments and Trouble-Shooting
  • Highway Warning Systems, Maintenance, Operation and Trouble-Shooting
  • Interlocking Theory, Types, Modes of Operation, Basic Circuits, Sequence of Operation and Trouble-Shooting
  • Indication and Control System Theory, Types Used, Operation and Trouble-Shooting.

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Denver Regional Transportation District

Light Rail System

The Denver light rail transit system began service in 1994 with a 5.3- mile starter line.  With the success of this starter line, the system rapidly expanded with the Southwest Line to Littleton that opened in July of 2000.

Continuing success of this system has allowed Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) to continue with expansion plans for two additional line segments:

  • A 1.6 mile extension west and north of downtown to Denver Union Terminal
  • A new 19-mile Southeast Corridor LRT Line that includes a 15-mile main line through the Denver Tech Center and a 4-mile branch parallel to the I-225 beltway.

For each of these extension projects, LTK is serving as the systems engineering consultant responsible for signals, communications, traction electrification (substations and overhead contact system), corrosion control design, fare collection systems engineering, procurement management and start-up testing and acceptance.

The signal and communications engineering design being performed by LTK includes:

  • Signal block design
  • Route and aspect charts
  • Signal cable and installation plans
  • Fiber optics and data transmission system
  • A new central control facility
  • CCTV, telephones, public address and variable message signs.

During construction, LTK is supporting RTD with review of the contractor’s final design, installation support, start-up testing and change order and progress payment review.

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Southwest Service Expansion to Manhattan

LTK developed the final signal contract bid documents for Metra's Southwest Service Line expansion to Manhattan.  Design includes track and signal layout drawings, specifications, typicals for grade crossings, interlocking control points and construction details.  The project begins at CP 74th Street (MP 7.7) to Manhattan (MP 40.7).  Signal improvements include: 

  • Bi-directional signaling using electronic coded track circuits
  • A new signaled second mainline track from MP 19.92 to MP 23.19
  • Modifying existing highway at grade crossings or add continuous warning time devices to allow for trains to run at a maximum speed of 79 mph
  • Other improvements to include new interlockings at foreign railroads with indications to Metra's consolidated control facility

LTK is currently involved in the construction oversight of Metra's Southwest Service Line Expansion to Manhattan.  Signal oversight duties include:

  • Equipment submittal approvals
  • Design submittal approvals
  • On site resident consultant
  • Day-to-day construction activities and meetings

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Electronic Train Management System (ETMS)

Rock Island District

STC08LTK is currently supporting the implementation of Metra’s Electronic Train Management System (ETMS) design interface with Metra's existing Wayside Signaling located on Metra's Rock Island District.  LTK's design support covers the interface between Metra's existing wayside signaling and its proposed addition of Wabtec's ETMS.  LTK's design support includes a complete and detailed field survey of all existing signal locations in order to determine which locations have the capacity to add the ETMS equipment. LTK’s design support includes major component equipment material lists for field forces, CADD drafting and quality checking of all design.

LTK will also provide field verification of signal aspects, rectifier/battery power capacity, terminal board arrangements, spare breakers and notation of discrepancies between field equipment and existing circuit plans. Metra has assigned LTK the responsibility to develop software installation test procedures for field forces for the integration of ETMS with wayside signals. LTK’s design support will also include:

  • Recommendations on equipment and cable arrangements possibilities
  • Assistance to Metra crews in equipment assembly and in the mounting details of the equipment
  • Provide revisions/updates to existing drawings as needed
  • Provide wayside signal design to implement the ETMS interface at all signal/switch locations
  • Provide design for conversion of searchlight signals to colorlight at various interlockings
  • Provide ETMS VHF radio settings for all locations
  • Provide design for new base stations for ETMS

Engineering design, construction assistance field support completion date is scheduled for winter, 2008.

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South Chicago Signal Replacement

Chicago, IL

LTK is developing the final signal design for 14 grade crossings on Metra Electric South Chicago Branch between Stony Island Avenue and Oglesby Avenue. Signal design includes: 

  • Circuit design to add green aspects to wayside signals
  • Circuit design to double break all line circuits
  • Modification of all highway at grade crossings to achieve minimum warning time.
  • Providing design and cad work to replace existing crossing cases with new cases. Design to include the use of Metra’s latest drawing standards and new equipment including rectifiers, batteries, cable, recorders, relays, audio island circuits and crossing controllers.
  • Working with field forces for typical case layouts and assist in cut-over plans.
  • Other work to include providing Illinois Commerce Commission “Form 3’s” for approval of modified grade crossing approach lengths and warning times.

LTK is currently involved in design of this project with a scheduled completion date of August, 2008.

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Minnesota Department of Transportation

Hiawatha Corridor Light Rail Project

LTK’s involvement with light rail transit in the Twin Cities extends back to 1985. The firm assisted in developing LRT systems plans for the Twin Cities by conducting a series of studies that defined “starter lines” in individual corridors. Several routes were identified as having good potential for LRT, including a corridor in Hennepin County radiating from downtown Minneapolis and one penetrating the core of St Paul. As part of developing a comprehensive LRT plan for the County, LTK completed tasks involving operational analyses and systems engineering. The firm was responsible for a feasibility analysis of LRV options including low-floor LRVs, car lengths, maximum train lengths and vehicle operating parameters.  LTK staff developed design criteria, which became the blue print for the PE and final design.

STC10Separate contracts with the Minnesota Department of Transportation as well as Hennepin and Ramsey counties, covered all systems elements, including LRVs, LRT signal system, traction electrification, communications and central control, system wide electrical, fare collection, yard and shop design, and maintenance support equipment during preliminary engineering for both the Hiawatha and Central Corridors.  LTK developed operating and maintenance plans, performed corrosion control analyses and prepared cost estimates for all elements.

LTK assisted in the preparation of Design Build contract documents for the design, implementation and construction of the Hiawatha LRT Corridor, a 12.5-mile line using a combination of street operation, exclusive ROW operation and tunnel operation.  LTK was responsible for all systems elements including systems integration, signals, communications, central control, TWC, traction substations, overhead contact system, system wide electrical, yard and shop facilities and maintenance equipment.  The firm also was responsible for two major elements outside the Design Build contract, the procurement of 34 low-floor light rail vehicles and the planning and implementing of a comprehensive regional fare collection plan including LRT, bus and commuter rail. Associated with this project, but under contract to the Metropolitan Airports Commission, LTK supported the detailed design of tunnel electrical/transit facilities and provided detailed corrosion control design assistance.

LTK currently assisted Metropolitan Council/Metropolitan Transit in overseeing the design/construction of the systems elements of the Hiawatha Corridor. The firm also assisted with separate contracts to procure system wide fare collection equipment and the new low-floor car fleet. The total cost of the project was $675 million dollars in 2000 dollars of which $160 million were for systems elements.

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Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon

Light Rail System

No agency is better equipped to assess LTK’s systems engineering skills than TriMet. Over the past two decades, and across seven major projects, LTK has helped TriMet create a light rail system that has earned international acclaim. Throughout this development period, LTK has served and continues to serve as TriMet’s consultant for systems engineering. This level of continuous client service is rare, and it is clear testimony to our long-standing relationship and the quality of our work. Moreover, the TriMet light rail system clearly demonstrates LTK’s sensitivity to environmental and community concerns -- we are citizens of the communities we serve.

The following are descriptions of each of the major projects in which we have been engaged; namely the:

        Banfield Corridor Light Rail Project (now referred to as the Eastside Line);

        Banfield Double-Tracking Project;

        Westside Corridor Light Rail Extension;

        Hillsboro Light Rail Extension;

        Airport Light Rail Extension;

        South/North Light Rail Corridor; and

        Interstate Light Rail Extension.

We have also had the privilege to provide additional services to TriMet through several task order-type contracts, providing expertise in all elements of systems engineering. These have encompassed activities such as discrete design tasks, equipment modification programs, equipment tests and failure investigations, and employee maintenance training programs.

LTK has been in the forefront for signal and communications design and construction management for each of these major projects, including design of:

  • Signal block layouts employing 100 Hz track circuits and trip stops
  • Interlocking design
  • Automatic block signal locations
  • Automatic highway grade crossing warning system
  • Train-to-wayside communications system
  • Specialized track circuit analysis
  • Signal power system(s)
  • Central control facilities
  • Fiber optics and data transmission system
  • CCTV, telephone system, public address and variable message sign(s).

As TriMet’s Westside MAX construction progressed, regional planners turned their attention to a north-south route to extend LRT service to Clackamas County in Oregon and Clark County (Vancouver) in Washington.  Funding and jurisdictional uncertainties made it clear that it would not be possible to build all 25 miles of the proposed line at once, but that an incremental approach might make it possible to build shorter parts of the line. 

Studies were performed in 1999 to determine if a project was viable for an extension of the MAX system to the north, but within the City of Portland. The result was the selection of a route using Interstate Avenue, an arterial street running adjacent to I-5 and connecting with TriMet’s Eastside Line. This predominantly center-median route enjoyed broad appeal. The 5.5-mile Interstate Extension extends from a junction at the Rose Quarter Transit Center to the Portland Expo Center, and includes 10 stations.

LTK was selected to perform preliminary and final design for all systems elements, including 17 additional light rail vehicles, traction power substations, OCS, street lighting (incorporated with the OCS poles), ductbanks, signals and further expansion of the Ruby Junction maintenance facility.

Construction began in 2001 with the start of revenue service scheduled for Fall 2004. The planning process has moved on to the task of identifying a workable alignment for a minimum operable segment (MOS) from downtown Portland south to the suburb of Milwaukie.

In 2003, LTK designed and specified an upgrade to TriMet’s CCTV system which allowed TriMet to utilize their existing fiber optic infrastructure eliminating costly conduit and fiber installation.

The CCTV upgrade that LTK designed and specified was also seamlessly integrated into TriMet’s existing system while allowing TriMet to take full advantage of new digital components and gracefully retire analog components as time and budget permitted. The CCTV upgrade that LTK designed and specified has been used many times since by TriMet for claims mitigation and legal evidence.


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