As many of you may have noticed, Norfolk Southern has been working in Allegheny Commons near the Soldier’s Monument installing some cabinets. Please see some of the images attached (credit Jerry Green) and read the following information I received from Norfolk Southern regarding the work:

Train Box Install
In 2008, following an incident in California between a commuter train and a freight train in which 25 people lost their lives, the U.S. Congress passed the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which called for the development and implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC). The purpose of PTC is to prevent train-to-train collisions, overspeed derailments, unauthorized incursions by trains into sections of track where maintenance is being performed, and the movement of a train through a main line switch left in the wrong position. PTC is generally required to be installed on main lines that are used to transport passengers or toxic-by-inhalation (TIH) materials by December 31, 2018, and to be fully implemented by December 31, 2020. Interestingly, when the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 was passed, PTC technology did not exist, and over the past nearly ten years NS has spent $1.4 billion to develop, construct and implement PTC on 40 percent of its 20,000 mile network, including the rail lines through Allegheny Commons, which carry both TIH material and Amtrak passengers. The work within Allegheny Commons includes the installation of two aluminum signal cabinets in the vicinity of the former pedestrian bridge. Ultimately, these two cabinets will be relocated as part of the replacement of the pedestrian bridge, which is being funded by Norfolk Southern and PennDOT. Additionally, the large signal bridge and cases adjacent to North Avenue/Brighton Road will be removed.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you and happy holidays all!

Erin Tobin
Community Outreach Coordinator

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy