SYSTRA, Engineering Partner at SafeRail and PTC World Congress 2016

NEW YORK, NY – March 7, 2016 – SYSTRA is a proud sponsor and engineering partner for this year’s SafeRail Conference, incorporating the PTC World Congress. The conference, hosted by the Global Transport Forum (GTF), will be held at the Georgetown University and Conference Center in Washington, DC on March 22nd and 23rd.

Train control experts from SYSTRA’s domestic and international headquarters will be presenting and participating in various conference sessions. SYSTRA will also be exhibiting at booth no. 16, showcasing the company’s rail transit engineering and systems expertise.

Presentations and panels at this year’s conference will discuss topics including issues on Positive Train Control (PTC) interoperability, solving operational safety issues, and advanced signaling systems. SYSTRA’s technical staff will be present at the following conference sessions:

  • Lawrence “Larry” Light, SYSTRA’s Director of PTC Systems:

March 22nd, 12:00 PM – Panel: Issues and solutions for PTC interoperability

  • Philippe Ayrault, SYSTRA’s Reliability, Availability, Maintainability & Safety (RAMS) Expert:

March 22nd, 2:15 PM – Panel: Solving operational safety issues in North America

March 23rd, 2:15 PM – Presentation: ISA: Developing highly skilled teams and reducing risk

March 23rd, 3:15 PM – Panel: Training and certification to maximize your technology investments

  • Philippe Cazaux, SYSTRA’s Senior CBTC Specialist:

March 23rd, 11:15 PM – Panel: Advanced Signaling Systems Masterclass


For the last five years, the PTC World congress has put emphasis on leaders and innovation regarding rail safety and operations. This year, SafeRail will be incorporating the 6th Annual PTC World Congress to provide a holistic showcase for rail safety and security within the rail transit industry.

This year’s SafeRail conference will feature sessions tackling transit cyber-security, cost-efficient system deployment, interoperability and integrated corridor management, and best practice deployment strategies. For more information on the conference and featured speakers and panelists, head over to


A global leader in mass transit and rail infrastructure engineering, SYSTRA has a reputation as an established partner in public transport systems for the past 60 years, and a unique wealth of experience in mass transit and rail projects. The Group employs 5,400 people worldwide, manages 3,000 contracts and operates in 80 countries.

SYSTRA Appoints New Vice President, Construction/Project Management Sector Manager

 GMavleos SYSTRA is pleased to announce that Gene Mavleos, PE has joined SYSTRA as Vice President, CM/PM Sector Manager, based in our New York office. In this capacity, Mr. Mavleos will be in charge of the company’s national construction/program management practice. In this role, he is responsible for hiring, training, and supervising large unionized work crews, and delivering finished projects within strict scheduling and cost constraints.

Mr. Mavleos is a Professional Engineer and has over 30 years of experience in planning, design, and construction of a variety of major transportation capital improvement projects in both public/private partnerships.

He joins SYSTRA from URS Corporation (now AECOM) where he served as Project Manager/Resident Engineer for 10 years. Prior to URS, he held various roles including: Project Manager at Hill International Corp., Construction Manager at Storch Associates, and Sr. Project Manager at New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

Mr. Mavleos’ expertise includes design and construction/program management for transit facilities and infrastructure. Gene has a Master’s in Business Administration/Post Graduate Management Course Work, from Baruch College, Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Geology from the State University of New York, Oneonta.

SYSTRA USA Launches New Website

New York, NY – SYSTRA is pleased to announce the launch of its new website,, promoting the company’s identity, culture, and expertise. Key features of the new site include a cleaner interface, and a more striking design. It also introduces an engaging user experience with improved navigation, and an enhanced search functionality aimed at highlighting SYSTRA’s industry experience for prospective clients, partners and employees.

“After nearly a year of intensive design and development, we are thrilled to provide clients and leading industry talent access to our new website showcasing SYSTRA’s rail and transit industry expertise as well as key multidisciplinary projects throughout the US.” says William Crosbie, P.Eng., SYSTRA USA’s President & CEO.

The redesigned site’s new features now provide:
– Upfront access to SYSTRA’s industry-leading expert services
– An updated project portfolio showcasing SYSTRA’s innovative projects and experience with rail and mass transit agencies across the country
– Convenient access to SYSTRA’s employment portal and application system
– A live social media feed and resource hub featuring the latest SYSTRA news and announcements
– An enhanced user interface

The new website provides a comprehensive resource for prospective clients and partners to browse SYSTRA’s innovative project solutions, ongoing initiatives, and partnerships throughout the United States, and globally. The site also provides convenient access to SYSTRA’s global resources and project portfolio.

To stay updated with SYSTRA news and announcements, visit or follow us on Twitter at

A global leader in mass transit and rail infrastructure engineering, SYSTRA has a reputation as an established partner in public transport systems for the past 50 years, and a unique wealth of experience in mass transit and rail projects. The Group employs 5,200 people worldwide, manages 3,000 contracts and operates in 78 countries.


The Challenges of Positive Train Control

by Lawrence Light, Director of PTC via Mass Transit

One of the most sought after safety systems, Positive Train Control, has been on the National Transportations Board’s “Most Wanted List” for many years. Yet, despite nearly seven years of anticipation for FRA’s PTC deadline and nearly 20 years of awareness of system requirements, most carriers will not have a PTC system by Dec. 31. With more than 40 railroads filing for installation of PTC under the mandate, few will have PTC in revenue service on time. Four principal factors impacting timely completion are:

1. Complexity of the chosen architecture

2. Individual railroad’s safety philosophies

3. Availability of multiple vendors

4. Development time available, given 1, 2 & 3 above

These four factors are best illustrated by visiting brief histories of four very different PTC technologies seeking certification as FRA Type-Approved (TA) PTC.

ATC/ACSES had a significant head start on the other three systems, beginning in 1993 with the goal of 150mph for high speed trains in the Northeast Corridor. With the simplest architecture, a unique blend of domestic ATC and European transponders following FRA’s established safety Rules, Standards & Instructions for Signals (The RS&I) and with availability from multiple vendors, Amtrak has received final FRA TA certification and expects to meet the deadline for its lines in the Northeast. However, due to a later start, other agencies in the Northeast with lines adjacent to Amtrak will not meet the deadline.

ITCS, was first conceived in 1995 with the original goal of breaking the 79 mph barrier, and with multiple improvements in service, 2000 – 2012, Amtrak began 110 mph operation in February 2012 and received final FRA TAPTC certification in December 2012. ITCS is RS&I compliant with simpler architecture than I-ETMS, and has an important highway crossing warning advance start feature saving millions upon deployment in the emerging corridors with many road crossings. ITCS has one vendor, but thanks to an early start, Amtrak-owned lines in Michigan and Indiana will meet the deadline.

I-ETMS, is a blend of BNSF’s ETMS and UPRR’s V-ETMS, which when merged as I-ETMS appears to have strayed from the goal of vitality. This has led to recent FRA challenges regarding many safety concerns. Unfortunately, pursuit of corollary benefits has created an architectural complexity resulting in a costly increase in overall completion time. Of all the railroads seeking to deploy I-ETMS, only Southern California’s Metrolink expects to be PTC ready by the deadline. Currently, there is only one vendor available to supply the needs of many railroads.

E-ATC, an extension of the ATC concept, is the simplest of all the systems in architecture and safety philosophy (RS&I Compliant); can be supplied by multiple vendors, and can be developed relatively quickly for new PTC initiatives. And while at least two PTC initiatives are able to eliminate data radio and transponders, this is not always possible without losing needed operational utility.

In conclusion, the combination of later deployment of I-ETMS and a lack of consideration for the “four factors” has resulted in the need for additional implementation time. With the majority of carriers filing to install PTC committed to the I-ETMS technology, this has caused much anxiety for a large segment of the industry not meeting the deadline, and with the lack of multiple vendors, budgets are being strained to the breaking point. If granted, a congressional extension of the deadline could provide time for some operators to consider simpler, more mature and less costly alternatives.