HOBOKEN, N.J. — An automatic braking system for trains that’s been stalled over budget issues for years has the potential to prevent deadly train crashes like the one in Hoboken on Thursday morning.
Positive Train Control (PTC) for commuter rail services should have been implemented by 2015 following a 2008 Congressional mandate, but Congress extended the deadline to 2018.
“Every day that passes without PTC, we risk adding another preventable accident to a list that is already too long,” said Federal Railroad Administration official Sarah Feinberg in August.
The breaking system is not installed on any NJ Transit locomotives, according to a mandatory report it made to the federal Department of Transportation in July. PTC has not been installed on any of the lines track segments and no NJ transit employees have received PTC training.
The National Transportation Safety Board estimates PTC could have prevented 145 accidents since 1969 which killed 296 people and injured 6,700.