MTA awarded $2M federal SMART grant for automated railcar inspection program

© Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently awarded the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), North America’s largest transportation network, with a $2 million Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grant.

The agency will use the funding for its automated railcar inspection system pilot program. The goal of the program is to allow Metro-North Railroad to more efficiently conduct daily Federal Railroad Administration-mandated railcar inspections.

Automated detection systems provide early notification of existing and new defects. This allows railroads to address conditions immediately, reducing repair and replacement time. When automated detection system are used with manual inspections, they allow railroads to be more proactive conducting rolling stock maintenance.

“Metro-North is always looking for opportunities to innovate and be more efficient in how we maintain our systems and equipment and provide service to our customers,” Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi said. “With federal funding from SMART, we can explore new industry advancements to improve our maintenance practices, which will enhance the safety and overall reliability of our service.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority serves 15.3 million people in the 5,000-square-mile travel area surrounding New York City, Long Island, southeastern New York State, and Connecticut. It operates the nation’s largest bus fleet as well as more subway and commuter rail cars than all U.S. transit systems combined.