Observance of fatal train collision 50 years ago reaffirms need for PTC

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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David C. Lester

National Transportation Safety Board Member Jennifer Homendy will join Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal and rail safety advocates at a press conference scheduled for today at 11 a.m., calling for the full implementation of Positive Train Control.

The event coincides with the 50th anniversary of a train collision in Darien, Connecticut, that killed four people and injured 43 others. Following its investigation of the Darien accident, the NTSB issued its first recommendation related to PTC, a safety system designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, overspeed derailments, switches left in the wrong position, and incursions into established work zone limits.

In 2008 Congress mandated the installation of PTC. The initial deadline for PTC was December 2015. That deadline was extended to 2018. With additional conditions met, some railroads have been allowed until 2020 to fully implement PTC. The NTSB has asked that no further extensions be granted, which is why fully implementing PTC is on the NTSB 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements.

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) news release ntsb.gov

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