Chicago’s Metra to Install High-Tech Safety System

24 March 2010 (Last Updated March 24th, 2010 18:30)

A high-tech safety system worth $100m is to be installed on the Metra in Chicago, US by 2015. The technology, known as positive train control (PTC), is a complex system of computers, GPS devices, radios and other communications equipment. PTC could override human errors to pr

A high-tech safety system worth $100m is to be installed on the Metra in Chicago, US by 2015.

The technology, known as positive train control (PTC), is a complex system of computers, GPS devices, radios and other communications equipment.

PTC could override human errors to prevent fatal accidents, according to chicagotribune.com.

Metra, which serves the city of Chicago and its suburbs, said it expects to have the system running before 2015.

The Chicago region handles more than 1,300 trains, 800 passenger and 500 freight every day.

In 2005 a Metra train derailed on Chicago's South Side, killing two and injuring 117 others.

In another incident in 2008 a commuter and freight train collided due to a distracted engineer, killing 25 people.

This crash prompted the US Congress to pass a law requiring large railroads to install PTC by 2015.