Metro-North has begun installing a $67 million state-of-the art signaling system on its Port Jervis Line, promising that the system will enhance safety along 66 miles of rail tracks.

The system will give engineers more reliable methods to gauge their speed while maintaining a safe distance between trains, Metro-North officials said Monday.

The new system will send a signal through the rails that will display on the engineer's console. With a glance at the console, the engineer will be able to determine whether to stop short of a train ahead.

Under the current 40-year-old system, engineers must check an aboveground signal indicator that looks much like a traffic light before deciding whether to stop or go.

"This upgrade to cab signals will bring the line up to the modern standards in place across the railroad and will improve the ride for all Port Jervis customers," said Metro-North President Howard Permut.

The new cab system is designed to comply with federal rail safety regulations passed by Congress in 2008 that mandated that 30 railroads across the country install advanced train control systems.

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The estimated cost of the upgrades for the entire Metro-North system is $350 million.

On Monday, the Metro-North committee of the MTA approved a $13.9 million contract for Alstom Signaling Inc. to do a portion of the work. The project is expected to be finished in 2015.

The first phase of the project, which involved digging foundations and installing cable, has already started. In July, the MTA awarded Ducci Electrical Contractors of Torrington, Conn., a $22 million contract to do that work.

The Port Jervis Line runs from Suffern to Port Jervis.