After decade of delays, rail safety system still not ready - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

After decade of delays, rail safety system still not ready

By MEG KINNARD
Associated Press

CAYCE, S.C. (AP) - Federal investigators say a system could have prevented this week's fatal crash between a passenger train and a freight train in South Carolina.

Congress mandated technology known as positive train control a decade ago. The system relies on GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor train positions and automatically slow or stop trains in danger of colliding or derailing.

But some companies have been slow to implement the expensive, unwieldy system. As of now, they're required to have it in place for passenger and some freight trains by the end of this year.

An Amtrak conductor and engineer were killed early Sunday when an errant rail switch sent their train onto a side track, where it slammed into an empty CSX Corp. freight train. More than 100 passengers were injured.

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