This week, federal railroad officials unveiled regulations for equipping the nation’s freight and passenger trains with automated braking systems.  The federal rules were enacted to ensure the safety and reliability of freight, commuter and intercity passenger rail routes.  These rules regulate the design and installation of train technology that must be implemented on all freight and passenger railroads by December 2015.  Safety experts claim this new system will prevent future crashes.  Sadly, the National Transportation Safety Board made the first recommendation for positive train control more than 30 years ago.  The issue has remained on top of the Board‘s Most Wanted List of safety improvements since the inception of the list in 1990.

PTC avoids train collisions through its automated systems which can override operator errors.  Freight railroads are required to submit their final PTC plans to Federal Railroad Administration by April 16, 2010.

These train control devices have been studied since the mid-1980s.  They send and receive data via wireless signals about the location, speed and direction of trains.  If an engineer fails to stop at a red signal, exceeds a speed limit or is on the wrong track, positive train control can automatically stop the train and alert the appropriate agencies about the problems.

Tens of thousands of these devices are to be installed nationally along 69,000 miles of track and aboard 30,000 engines, and will cost about $5.5 billion to install and $820 million annually to maintain and repair.

If you have been injured while working for the railroad, you should consider hiring a TrainAccident Attorney or FELA Lawyer.  Please contact our firm, Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  the firm with over 100 years of combined experience handling federal personal injury cases.  We get serious results and are available to provide a free consultation for your railroad injury lawsuit over email at [email protected] or at (713) 364-0723.