Real-Time Quote
US News
Page 1 of 6 | Next Page
Show Entire Article

Digital Rail Crash-Avoidance Runs Into Trouble
CNBC.com | March 29, 2012 | 01:19 PM EDT

Plans for a nationwide, state-of-the-art digital railroad safety system, inspired by a fatal crash in 2008, are meeting with resistance, due to a fierce debate over its effectiveness and business benefits.

Collision avoidance systems, known as positive train control , or PTC, have been on the drawing board for at least 30 years, but garnered new support in September 2008, when a Metrolink commuter train collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train in the Chatsworth district of Los Angeles, killing 25 people and injuring at least 130 others.

Ever since then, the regional commuter line Metrolink — under pressure from state lawmakers and riders — along with freight rail companies Union Pacificand Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway — have expedited plans to install a cutting-edge PTC system, committing $210 million to the project and promising full compliance to a post-Chatsworth federal law by mid-2013

The systems are intended to nearly eliminate human error — the main cause of most serious train crashes — through a combination of GPS technology, wireless radio and computers, replacing traditional safety methods based on mechanical signals.

Page 1 of 6 | Next Page
Show Entire Article
Real-Time Quote
omniture pixel