L train testing ultrawideband signal technology

The L train.
The L train.
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L train testing ultrawideband signal technology

On Friday the MTA will begin testing out the new signal equipment.
September 30, 2019

The L train may be undergoing months of rehabilitation work – which just so happens to be wrapping up ahead of schedule – but that’s not stopping the Metropolitan Transportation Authority from making the tracks some of the first to test out new signal technology. The Daily News reported on Friday that the MTA will begin testing out signal equipment known as “ultrawideband radio” on the L line, which could allow trains to run faster and closer together.

The technology is already being tested on tracks in Brooklyn, but the push to adopt the technology as part of the MTA’s signal modernization efforts intensified this year, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged the agency to consider ultrawideband radio over communications-based train control, the signaling system being advocated for by New York City Transit President Andy Byford. Cuomo, however, has criticized CBTC as being an older technology “designed in the ’80s.” The L and No. 7 subway lines have already adopted CBTC.

The new testing on the L line won’t rely on ultrawideband radio to direct the trains, but will use it in conjunction with the current signal technology in order to collect data and see how ultrawideband radio would theoretically work. Humatics, a Massachusetts-based company, will test its ultrawideband radio technology on the L line, the Daily News reports.

Annie McDonough
Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.
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