Metrolink News

Wednesday November 14, 2012

Federal Safety Board lists Positive Train Control systems a top priority

LOS ANGELES - Today, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) publically proclaimed rail agencies implementing positive train control (PTC) amongst its most wanted items for 2013. The NTSB recognized Metrolink as a national leader in this effort.

The announcement came during a press conference this morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. as the NTSB identified its top transportation safety priorities.

NTSB staff indicated, "Metrolink's leadership to implement PTC is a model for others across the rail industry to follow."

In September, Metrolink unveiled its fully equipped (PTC) test train at an event hosted by Metrolink Board Chair Richard Katz and the Metrolink Board. Participants included NTSB Board Chair Deborah A.P. Hersman.

"We do not have to accept train accidents as a given, particularly those involving head-on collisions," Hersman said Wednesday. "Although human error cannot be eradicated, there is technology capable of supplementing the human operation of trains-positive train control."

PTC refers to technology that is capable of intervening and automatically stopping a train and therefore preventing train-to-train collisions. Metrolink, Amtrak, BNSF and Union Pacific have committed to implementing the life-saving technology in Southern California in advance of the 2015 federal mandate created by The Rail Safety Act of 2008.

"Metrolink's safety culture has been revolutionary," Katz said. "It's great to see hard work and a willingness to be out front, paying off in lives saved and praise from the NTSB. We take the role of being a leader in safety very seriously."

Metrolink is nearly 50 percent through with its implementation of the $210 million PTC program.  Full implementation is on schedule for 2013.

Katz also noted Metrolink's implementation of Crash Energy Management Technology, inward and outward-facing cameras on trains and grade crossing enhancements as safety innovations the Southern California commuter rail provider has already accomplished.

On Thursday, Katz along with Metro Board Chair Michael D. Antonovich, Los Angeles County supervisor, and Metro Board Member Ara Najarian, City of Glendale councilman, will highlight the Glendale Corridor, a series of rail crossing safety enhancements in the cities of Los Angeles and Glendale.

The Glendale Corridor press conference will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. at Pelanconi Park in Glendale, 1000 Grandview Ave.

For details about Metrolink, please visit  


Metrolink is Southern California's regional commuter rail service in its 20th year of operation. The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, governs the service. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county, 512 route-mile network. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the seventh largest based on annual ridership.