Twenty-five lives could have been saved and the avoided if a GPS-based tracking system had been in place, Metrolink Board Chairman Richard Katz says.
The technology, called Positive Train Control, can monitor train locations and speeds and detect whether a train is on the wrong track or has missed signals. It can automatically stop a train safely.
"Positive Train Control is probably the most significant development in lifesaving technology that the railroad industry will see in our lifetime," Katz told the Ventura County Star. "I would say that if it had been in place in 2008, we might have averted the crash, and at a minimum it would have been significantly less severe than it was."
A $20.9 million grant from the California Department of Transportation will help finance the $200 million system that Metrolink is now installing in all its commuter trains two years ahead of a federally mandated deadline, Katz said.
Metrolink will be the first passenger railroad in the country to have the system, he the told the Star.