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Railroad accidents in Connecticut and beyond may prompt changes

Safety is always a high priority where Connecticut railway systems are concerned. In fact, it's logical to assume that most railroad companies throughout the nation consider worker and passenger safety a top concern. When railroad accidents occur, investigations often lead to changes in regulations or equipment and system upgrades.

In the wake of a major Amtrak derailment in another state, there has been much talk regarding positive train control technology. PTC is a sophisticated satellite tracking system that is designed to automatically stop a locomotive that is at risk for derailment or collision. The hope is that this cutting-edge technology might greatly decrease the number of railroad collisions that occur throughout the nation each year.

The recent crash involved a particular high speed train that was making its maiden voyage. It was not equipped with PTC. In 2008, the U.S. Congress and then president George W. Bush mandated that PTC be installed in certain locomotives. The anti-crash system is said to be most valuable in its ability to prevent accidents caused by human error.

PTC is expensive. An estimated cost for installation on a freight train system exceeds $10 billion with potentially hundreds of millions more to be spent thereafter on maintenance and training of workers. It is possible that the day will come when most railway systems in the nation will be equipped with PTC. In the meantime, Connecticut railroad workers who suffer injuries on the job may turn to attorneys familiar with the FELA process for legal support.

Source: columbian.com, "Railroads implementing Positive Train Control", Don Brunell, Dec. 26, 2017

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