Positive Train Control

Most of us were horrified to hear about this morning’s New Jersey Transit accident at Hoboken Station.  We should hope all of the survivors are guaranteed the best treatment and the right support from loved ones.

This tragedy deserves an impartial investigation.  There has already been one report that a “bumper,” intended to stop a derailed train from jumping the platform, failed, possibly because the train was moving too quickly when it arrived.  The first commuter to be confirmed dead was standing on the platform, according to CBS News.

A new technology called Positive Train Control might have prevented this horror, if it had been installed.  We don’t know that yet, though.

Positive Train Control is in the process of being installed by some rail systems in the United States, and transit agencies have until the end of 2018 to get the technology up and running.  Some are likely to ask for extensions due to funding issues.  The real question is, how long can passengers and train operators wait to make their lives safer?

Here’s a link to an article on NBC’s site, explaining the purpose of “PTC”:


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