UTA’s Commuter Rail South

Modern Railway Systems is pleased to congratulate Utah Transit Authority and Commuter Rail Constructors, the prime contractor, on the grand opening of the FrontRunner South commuter rail extension. On December 6, 2012, UTA operated the inaugural train from Salt Lake City to Provo, and began regular revenue service on this 44 mile extension on December 10. UTA started FrontRunner rail operations from Salt Lake City north to Pleasant View in 2008, and this recent southern extension doubles the FrontRunner system to a total length of 89 miles. The line now operates through four counties, and serves the region with stops at 16 passenger stations.

Modern Railway Systems partnered with MJG, Inc. of Payson, Utah, and Alstom Signaling, of Rochester, New York, to design, furnish, install, and commission the signaling system for the FrontRunner South line. The signaling system provides wayside signaling and 79 MPH cab signaling, and is an excellent foundation for future Positive Train Control (PTC) upgrades, because it already incorporates many safety-related functions required by the federal PTC requirements. The FrontRunner South signaling system includes 19 interlockings, 35 grade crossings, and 30 cut sections. As part of this project, 17 additional locomotives and cab cars were equipped with cab signaling equipment, bringing the total number of equipped units to 40. The FrontRunner system operates in a corridor shared with a main line of the Union Pacific Railroad. Due to very close spacing between UTA and UPRR passenger tracks, FrontRunner South features an innovative system to detect derailments and bring trains on both freight and passenger lines to a safe stop.

In addition to the FrontRunner South signaling system, MRS and MJG were also responsible for signaling on the original FrontRunner project and on several light rail projects in the UTA rail network.