Thales selected by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority to modernize the Queens Boulevard Line

Key points

  • USD 49.6 million contract to supply CBTC for New York subway’s Queens Boulevard Line
  • Continuous updates on trains’ position thanks to  SelTrac® CBTC
  • First interoperable line allowing Thales equipment to work seamlessly with other CBTC equipment

Thales has been awarded a USD 49.6 million (approx. €44.3 million euros) contract to upgrade the New York subway’s Queens Boulevard Line with its signaling solution. This project will help modernize the line by using real-time train location reporting to improve operational safety and passenger capacity.

Awarded by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), this contract includes the deployment of the Thales’s Communications-Based Train Control system (SelTrac® CBTC) as well as the supply of equipment for the line’s train fleet. Design work for the Queens Boulevard Line is getting underway and installations are expected to begin in mid-2017.

The contract awarded is one of the two contracts (the other awarded to Siemens), that will allow New York City Transit to operate more trains per hour on this line, thereby increasing passenger capacity, and provide improved and more reliable services. When this multi-year contract is complete, the Queens Boulevard Line will be the first ever line to use a CBTC system on multiple routes. According to MTA’s vision, this line will also be the first interoperable one in the world: it will allow Thales equipment to work seamlessly with other CBTC suppliers’ equipment.

In 2014, New York’s subway served 1.75 billion passengers making it one of the world’s most frequented metro systems. The Queens Boulevard Line is one of the busiest with more than 250,000 riders per day.

"MTA’s subway modernization initiatives will greatly enhance metropolitan travel for residents and visitors across the City of New York and we’re proud to be a trusted and continued supplier of CBTC solutions that help to streamline the system."

Alan Pellegrini, CEO of Thales in USA 

The system is more flexible than the current block signals system because SelTrac® CBTC continuously updates train positions, distances and travel speeds, allowing for faster and more efficient operations. Continuous updates allow the subway system to recover quickly from delays and restore consistent wait times at subway stations for passengers.

The installation of SelTrac® CBTC will keep the signaling system in a state of good repair and will also enhance safety for passengers and employees alike. With CBTC, NYC Transit can program a work zone so trains cannot exceed a set speed, making the work zone much safer for workers on the tracks.

With this strategic win, Thales continues to enlarge its footprint in one of the most significant urban transportation systems in the world. Thales is also currently installing the CBTC systems on the number 7 Flushing Line in New York and customers will benefit from similarly improved services when complete.