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September 27, 2007
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APTA > Passenger Transport > This Week in Passenger Transport  

FRA Approves Positive Train Control System

This Week in Passenger Transport


January 22, 2007

The Federal Railroad Administration has approved the first Positive Train Control system capable of automatically controlling train speed and movements to prevent certain accidents, including train collisions.

The FRA gave its approval to BNSF Railway's Product Safety Plan for its Electronic Train Management System, an overlay technology that augments and supplements existing train control methods.

According to FRA, ETMS employs both digital communications and a global positioning system to monitor train location and speed within track authority limits to prevent certain types of accidents, including train collisions. The ETMS system includes an in-cab electronic display screen that will first warn of a problem and then automatically engage the train's braking system if a locomotive engineer fails to act in accordance with operating instructions.

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