Remote-Controlled Brake System Unveiled To Prevent Metrolink Crash Repeat

LOS ANGELES ( — Federal transportation officials on Monday introduced a new system designed to prevent head-on train collisions like the Metrolink disaster four years ago.

KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports the technology known as Positive Train Control (PTC) will utilize global positioning satellites to keep trains on the track and out of danger.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was on hand at Union Station to demonstrate the technology, which would use a computer to warn the engineer if two trains appear to be at risk of colliding or coming too close to one another. The system even allows officials to use remote control to stop any train.

Villaraigosa promised the PTC system would be operational before the 2015 deadline mandated by Congress.

“We’re going to make sure that we not only do this by 2015, but that we do it before,” said Villaraigosa.

Twenty-five people were killed and 135 were injured on Sept. 12, 2008, when Metrolink engineer Robert Sanchez failed to see a stop signal while texting on his cell phone as he headed west from Chatsworth toward an oncoming freight train.


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