In light of the Amtrak incident that killed 8 people and injured over 200, I have to complain that the US authorities should have expedited a technological solution that will be mandated at the end of 2015 to greatly improve safety on the rails.
Earlier this year I wrote an article entitled Advanced Communications System for mobile fixed and Wi-Fi applications will save lives. This system would have saved lives and injuries in this crash and others had it been fully implemented in an urgent manner. Where is the “sense-of-urgency” when it comes to safety and precious human life losses?
Positive Train Control (PTC) was known about in 2008 when the Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) mandated that it be implemented by December 31, 2015.
What are we waiting for????!!!!—-A train carrying poisonous gas to de-rail? Well the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published final rule amendments on September 27, 2010 and on May 14, 2014 for Class I railroad main lines (These are lines over which 5 million or more gross tons are transported annually) that handle any poisonous-inhalation-hazardous (PIH) materials.
So what if there are tracks that only carry a mere 4.9 million gross tons of PIH? And are human lives on passenger trains any less dear than those in a surrounding area affected by a poisonous gas?
GE Electric Transportation Systems (GETS) also has had a system called Incremental Train Control System (ITCS) which is a class of PTC that can prevent overspeed derailments and train collisions. So what is the delay? This system has been in revenue since 2000!!!! Too little—too late!
I don’t know the answers to why we do not have these systems deployed by now but here is a list of rail accidents by Wikipedia from 2000 to 2009 and one on Wikipedia for rail accidents by Wikipedia from 2010 to 2015 —Judge for yourself why I am angry, especially since I understand technology and the costs of technology for companies to deploy. What price do we put on human life when we have the technology to prevent these things right now?
Tell me if I am off-base!