Monday, April 19, 2010

Avoiding a Collision Course

The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 and other regulations require the nation's largest railroads to implement, by the end of 2015, a system called "positive train control" also known as PTC. Positive train control is aimed at preventing train-to-train collisions like the 2008 collision in Southern California that killed 25 people, along with derailments from excessive speed, and improper incursions by trains into areas of track where repairs are ongoing, among other things, according to the Association of American Railroads.

The PTC should be able to precisely determine the location and speed of trains, warn operators of potential problems and take action if the operator does not respond to a warning.

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