Millions of dollars are headed to train tracks to make your ride on the rails safer.
CBS12 Investigates has been reporting since 2015 a potentially life saving device is missing from Tri-Rail, but that’s about to change.
Delayed for years, positive train control, or PTC is finally back on track and due to arrive onboard Tri-Rail by the end of the next year.
“It enhances our current safety system,” Tri-Rail’s Deputy Executive Director Mikel Oglesby said.
A $33-millon federal grant will now help Tri-Rail implement the $42-million technology along its 72-miles of track.
A March report from the Federal Railroad Administration found only 41% of our nation’s passenger railroads’ locomotives are fully equipped with PTC technology.
PTC relies on GPS satellites, radio towers and ground sensors to monitor a train’s speed and location. It detects if a train is going too fast or being operated unsafely. On board computers can kick in to slow it down or even stop it.
Back in 2013, Tri-Rail announced that it would have the safety system up and running by the December 2015 deadline, which has now been extended to the end of 2018. Delays in funding and a lack of vendors slowed the process which the Oglesby says is now back on track. “Providing safe reliable service throughout the entire corridor and that’s what this will do,” he said.
Tri-Rail is slated to begin installing PTC in just a few weeks with an expected completion by the end of the 2018.