NYCT Carnarsie Line update provided by Dr. Alan Rumsey

March 17, 2000


Matra's DCS (Digital Communications System) consists of three sub-networks - the Wayside Sub-Network, the RF Distribution Sub-Network, and the Carborne Sub-Network. The common protocol and interfaces on the wayside are based on an IP set of standards and  the carborne network uses LonWorks technology.

The CBTC system proposed by Matra for the Canarsie Line is based on the Meteor Line system. The only changes are those required to accommodate NYCT's specific operating environment (e.g. Meteor Line is driverless - Canarsie Line is not; Meteor Line uses inductive loop - Canarsie Line uses radio). NYCT's objectives are to maximize the reuse of the Meteor Line design in order to minimize new software development and associated safety re-certification risks. The Meteor Line system was specifically developed to support mixed-mode operations which was one of the attractions for NYCT.

Matra proposed an alternate DCS as part of their Best and Final Offer (BAFO) to NYCT to reduce costs and to reduce project risks. From a technical perspective, the alternative DCS proposed by Matra was reviewed by NYCT, their consultants, and independent RF/data network experts, and found to be technically acceptable and indeed superior to the Kasten Chase solution, requiring less equipment along the track to achieve the same coverage and availability. The proposed 2.4 GHz spread spectrum radios have also been extensively tested in a subway environment in Paris.

Phase III is not a competitive process. The objective of NYCT and all contractors (Leader and Followers) is to work together cooperatively to successfully develop and validate Interoperability Interface Specifications such that all three contractors are pre-qualified to bid on future NYCT CBTC equipment procurements (both wayside and carborne).

While not a competitive process, Phase III is also not, in any way, a consensus standard development effort, since the system architecture, functional allocations, interfaces and protocols will be defined by the Matra CBTC system. Input from the Follower Contractors will however be critical to ensure that the Interoperability Interface Specifications submitted by the Lead Contractor are complete and unambiguous.

Matra will be delivering Draft (March 2000), Preliminary (April 2001) and Final (March 2003) Interoperability Interface Specifications to NYCT, at defined milestones during the Canarsie project, for use by the selected Followers to develop interoperable CBTC systems. (Note: these project submittals are for the use of the Followers and will not be published documents per se). NYCT is currently negotiating with Alcatel and Alstom as potential Follower Contractors.

The interoperability interface specifications will be validated during the Phase III interoperability demonstration test program (in 2004), as originally planned. Assuming interoperability is demonstrated, the Leader and Followers will be qualified to bid on subsequent NYCT CBTC projects.

Matra was rated highest in accordance with the Evaluation Criteria defined in the RFP documents, namely:

1. Technical Proposal

2. Proposer Qualifications

3. Overall Project Costs

4. Other Relevant Factors

Based on the proposal evaluations (including Phase I demonstration tests), the Matra proposed CBTC system was rated the "best" system to meet NYCT's operational needs, Matra were rated highest in ability to implement the CBTC system on schedule, and with the lowest overall project cost.


Editor's note: The above official information was provided to TSD by Dr. Alan Rumsey in two email messages. Minor editing was made to provide a consistent flow and presentation and we believe no significant changes were introduced.

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