Positive Train Control (PTC) systems are integrated command, control, communications, and information systems for controlling train movements with safety, security, precision, and efficiency. PTC systems will improve railroad safety by significantly reducing the probability of collisions between trains, casualties to roadway workers and damage to their equipment, and over speed accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has named PTC as one of its "most-wanted" initiatives for national transportation safety. Amtrak has developed its own version of PTC for the Northeast Corridor called the Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System (ACSES). This system will be installed on the NHHS during its upgrade.
Under Department of Transportation ADA and section 504 regulations, the norm for new passenger rail stations is a platform running the full length of the passenger boarding area of the station that permits level boarding to all accessible rail cars stopping at the station.
A layover facility is a location where trains are cleaned and fueled when not in use, often at an outlying location. Minor repairs, such as changing brake pads, replacing air conditioning tanks, or changing light-bulbs or seats, may be performed at the layover facility as well. More substantive repairs are made at a Service & Inspection or heavy maintenance facility.
Crossings will be upgraded either with four (quad) gates or with two gates and a long solid median divider. Both approaches are intended to prevent motorists from attempting to go around the gates as a train approaches. Trains are required under Federal law to sound their horns four times before and while passing through a siding (two long whistles, a short and a final long). Increasing the number of trains generally means increasing the number of whistles. However, by upgrading the crossings with quad gates or median dividers, the NHHS crossings will meet the physical requirements for a Federally designated “Quiet Zone.” In a Quiet Zone, the engineer is no longer required to sound the train horn. Under Federal law, municipalities can seek Quiet Zone designation for crossings with such “supplemental safety devices.” The process for securing the Quiet Zone designation includes a locally funded, detailed analysis of the risk of accidents at the crossing and the ability of the supplemental safety devices to prevent those accidents.
Transit-oriented development (TOD) is compact, mixed-use development near transit facilities with high-quality walking environments. Studies have shown that the typical TOD leverages transit infrastructure to promote economic development and smart growth. TOD is about creating sustainable communities with transportation and housing choices, and encouraging alternative modes of transportation including walking, biking and use of transit. In addition, TOD boosts transit ridership and reduces automobile congestion, while creating a sense of community and place.
Scoping is the formal early coordination process required by CEQ’s 1979 Regulations (40 CFR 1501.7) during an environmental analysis undertaken pursuant to the National environmental Policy Act. It is intended to ensure that issues of concern are identified early and are properly studied, that issues of little significance do not consume time and effort, and that the draft environmental document is thorough and balanced and that delays resulting from inadequate documentation are avoided.