Philadelphia Train Accident Lawyers Report Delay in Improved Train Technology
January 13, 2016
Legislation to extend the deadline for the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) technology was passed by Congress in October, 2015 and is expected to be signed into law soon by President Obama. The deadline for the installation and implementation of the PTC technology was December 2015, but with the new law, railroads have until 2018 to fully install the equipment with the possibility of a two year extension, if necessary.
The PTC will use computer systems, radio waves and GPS technology to improve train safety. The network of technology will continuously monitor the position of each train and automatically reduce the speed or operation of the train if it is traveling in excess of the legal limits. The train can be re-routed to avoid derailing or colliding with another train, and stopped altogether if the situation warrants this action to ensure the safety of passengers and train operators. The installation of the PTC system on train tracks designated for passenger trains or freight trains carrying toxic liquids have been ongoing for the past seven years. Problems with establishing technology standards for PTS and acquiring the necessary radio spectrums have many railroads worried that they would be fined for missing the December 2015 deadline.
According to Federal accident investigators on the scene of the deadly Amtrak train wreck in Philadelphia last May, where eight people died and 200 more were injured, the train accident could have been avoided had the PTC technology been in place. It was the same story for the 2008 California train accident that killed 25 people and injured over 100 more when a distracted train operator missed warning signals that could have prevented the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported 300 deaths and 6,700 injuries in 145 train accidents since the PTC program was initiated over seven years ago.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently received a loan of $967.1 million from the Federal Railroad Administration to help it reach the December 2018 deadline for full installation and implementation of the PTC system. Amtrak said they anticipated meeting the December 2015 deadline, but were hampered by Metropolitan’s Metro-North line that had an incomplete 56 mile stretch of track between New York and Connecticut.
Philadelphia Train Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger Help Victims Injured in Train Crashes Claim Compensation
Trains run across our country and typically provide safe, reliable transportation and cargo hauling. However, when a train accident occurs, the potential for massive injuries and deaths is a grim reality. The experienced and knowledgeable team of Philadelphia train accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP is committed to helping the victims of train accidents claim the compensation that they are entitled to receive.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a train accident, call us at 1-800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Center City Philadelphia with service extended to clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.