With the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 deadline extended to December 2018, Metrolink leads the nation as the first commuter rail to run Positive Train Control, or PTC, systemwide. In its official report of the 2008 Metrolink Chatsworth crash, the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, cited that PTC’s GPS technology could’ve prevented several recent train wrecks, including Metrolink’s head-on collision with a freight train.
The 2008 Metrolink Chatsworth collision injured 135 passengers and killed 25, including the train engineer. A month later, Congress mandated more stringent safety rules for rails. At its core, the law requires most train operators to implement PTC. The upgrade would replace the red-light signaling system, standardized more than 100 years ago, with global position technology and provide backup control in the event of human failure.
Initially, Congress set the deadline for December 2015, but industry lobbyists said the $15-billion dollar prospect was prohibitive. As the deadline approached, major railroads threatened a service shutdown, and Congress extended the deadline to December 2018.
You can share memories, or leave comments for those killed in the 2008 Metrolink Chatsworth crash on the Los Angeles Time website.