Trains reports that Chicago Passenger Rail authority Metra is unlikely to meet the extended deadline for implementation of positive train control.
The Metra commuter railroad will miss a 2018 deadline for installing safety technology on all of its Chicago-area routes, but said Wednesday it still expects to meet its obligations under a federal law requiring the expensive and complex updates.

Metra is among four commuter railroads and three major freight railroads around the country that informed the federal government last week that they won’t hit the target. Instead, Metra outlined an implementation plan under which it expects to satisfy certain criteria for the government to grant it an extension through Dec. 31, 2020.

The technology known as positive train control, or PTC, uses GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor train positions and automatically slow or stop trains that are in danger of colliding, derailing because of excessive speed or approaching track where crews are working.

Metra has said the cost of its upgrade – between $350 million and $400 million – is one factor in its delay, especially in the face of Illinois’ state budget stalemate and absence of a state bond program this year.
Perhaps, we're looking at a political ploy to pry some funding out of Springfield, or out of Washington before the ranking Chicago politician leaves office.


Deval Mike said...

It could be a massive monetary/bureaucratic "bamboozle" to pick your pocket since the masses are unaware that Automatic Train Control is tried and true since the 1930's.

Stephen Karlson said...

I'm sure you're aware that positive train control is several orders of magnitude more complex than Automatic Train Control, which I recall from hearing North Western train crews reporting glitches with it, gave either a "clear" indication or a "danger" indication requiring the engineer to reduce speed or suffer a penalty brake application.