Metra will soon begin testing a new braking system designed to prevent crashes and derailments.
The new crash-prevention braking system could start operating on one of the most traveled Metra routes by the end of the year. The BNSF Line would be the first to provide positive train control, or PTC, followed by Metra’s three Union Pacific Lines, according to the Daily Herald.
PTC is a sophisticated technology system combining GPS, radio communications, and computers, to monitor the location and speeds of trains, in relation to other trains, signals, and changing speed limits.
If an engineer ignores a signal or warnings of an imminent collision or derailment, the PTC system is designed to take over and stop the train.
Union Pacific is expected to start testing PTC in late 2016, and Metra operated lines are about 30 percent complete and expected to be compliant by mid-2017.