Two NCTD Coaster trains in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Jennewein

The North County Transit District will receive $9,836,917 in grant funding to modernize its train and crossing control systems, it was announced Monday by Democratic Congressman Mike Levin.

The grant comes from the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair.

“The rail corridor through North County San Diego is vital for our regional economy, and I’m excited to announce that the North County Transit District will receive nearly $10 million in federal funding to upgrade its systems,” Levin said. “I wrote to the Federal Railroad Administration earlier this year urging them to consider this much-needed funding to help ensure that people and goods continue to move throughout Southern California on modern and reliable train systems.”

The funding will advance the San Diego Next Generation and Grade Crossing Modernization Project to upgrade signaling and positive train control systems along the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo rail corridor. Current train control and crossing equipment on the San Diego Subdivision pre-date 1991, the year that the railroad was purchased from the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway.

According to a NCTD statement, the current equipment is reaching the end of its useful life.

“This grant builds on our efforts to increase passenger and freight train frequencies to support mobility, economic, and environmental goals,” said Tony Kranz, NCTD board chair.

NCTD has developed a phased program of projects that are intended to improve signal reliability, reduce train delays and enhance safety for passenger and freight services. The $9.8 million from the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair program grant will be matched with $9.8 million in state and local funding for a total project budget of $19.7 million.

The project is scheduled to be ready to bid by mid-2021.

— City News Service

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