The US Transportation Secretary and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have released the final rules requiring freight and passenger railroads to install safety hardware to prevent train collisions.
The rules will regulate the design and installation of positive train control (PTC) technology, which is mandatory to be installed on all freight and passenger railroads, excluding closed passenger rail systems, by December 2015.
PTC is an integrated set of technologies that can avert train-to-train collisions, derailments caused by excessive speed, accidents caused by human error or misaligned switches, and harm to roadway workers.
With the announcement, the railroads can immediately begin finalising their PTC implementation plans to be submitted to the FRA by mid-April 2010.
According to Federal officials, tens of thousands of PTC devices would be installed nationally along 69,000 miles of track and aboard 30,000 engines, with an estimated cost of $5.5bn to install and $820m annually to maintain and repair.