Positive Train Control Set to Revolutionize Railroad Safety

A cutting-edge railroad collision avoidance system is being installed in Los Angeles. Dan Weikel and Richard Simon examine the system, and the reasons why the federal government is backing down from requirements to install the system nationwide.
February 14, 2012, 10am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Weikel and Simon report on the $201-million positive train control system, the "most sophisticated collision avoidance system in the country," which is set to be completed next year by Metrolink, the Los Angeles area commuter railroad. The system is being implemented under a 2015 nationwide deadline that Congress is now looking to relax.

According to the authors, "Federal lawmakers are being pressured by influential railroads and transportation organizations that say positive train control is very costly and tricky to install and remains largely unproven in daily operations."

However according to Richard Katz, chairman of the Metrolink Board of Directors, "This is the most important development in our lifetimes as far as rail safety is concerned. Every year we delay, more people are going to die that don't have to."

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Published on Saturday, February 11, 2012 in Los Angeles Times
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