LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Metrolink trains are now outfitted with a GPS system that will slow or halt a commuter train before it collides with another, Sen. Barbara Boxer and officials announced Friday.
Positive Train Control, or PTC, uses GPS to avert train collisions and keep trains from going at unsafe speeds or from moving onto the wrong tracks.
The system was installed on all 341 miles of Metrolink tracks in response to a 2008 collision between a Metrolink train and a Union Pacific freight train, resulting in 25 deaths and 135 people injured.
“That horrific tragedy in ’08 sparked an outcry,” Boxer said during a news conference on a Union Station platform. “And here’s the thing. It wasn’t just words…it was action, and today, we’re here to mark the action.”
Boxer got a demonstration of the system inside a Metrolink train car and a nearby facility, and later describing the technology as “an amazing feat.”
“I watched on the screen as the system warned the engineer there was a problem and the system took over as it needed to, to slow down the train and to stop the train,” she said.
Metrolink is working to install the system along an additional 170 miles of tracks shared with Union Pacific, BNSF and San Diego’s North County Transit.
PTC technology was officially installed and approved on the last piece of Metrolink’s 341-mile-long tracks in June, making Metrolink among the first commuter train service in the country to have the technology system wide, officials said.
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