Conversation Turns to Positive Train Control Following Metro-North Crash

With the revelation the engineer of the Metro-North train that crashed Sunday in the Bronx and killed four people might have zoned out just before the crash, the conversation has turned toward the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC).

The train, which originated in Poughkeepsie, was due to arrive at Grand Central Terminal at 7:43 a.m., was traveling 82 m.p.h. as it took a curve with a speed limit of 30 m.p.h., according to various media reports.

In addition to the four deaths, more than 60 others were injured when the Manhattan-bound Metro-North train derailed at about 7:20 a.m. just north of the Spuyten Duyvil station. Five of the train’s seven cars derailed.

“The idea is the train would automatically slow in a situation exactly like Sunday,” Fox New York quoted Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y, as saying.

“PTC would have sounded an alarm as soon as the train exceeded the speed limit,” CNN quoted Steven Harrod, a University of Dayton professor and expert on railway operations, as saying. “Technology will help. PTC will help. But there will be some other thing in the future, other ways that somebody will find to defeat the system or screw up.”