Friday, February 21, 2014

A Good Day for the Metrolink Perris Valley Line

Although ground has already been broken, The Riverside County Transportation Commission hosted an official ceremony kicking off the long-waited, long-overdue construction phase of the Metrolink Perris Valley Line. RCTC scheduled the event for today near the site of the March ARB station. Construction is scheduled to continue through 2015. Riverside Transit Agency officials have begun planning of how to integrate connecting bus routes with the extended service. We're counting on RTA to streamline the local bus routes in the Temecula and Murrieta areas to speed up cross-regional transit trip times outside of the rush hour for commuters headed to/from the Southwest area.

Metrolink - Positive Train Control

In addition, Metrolink announced the roll out of trains equipped with Positive Train Control. Positive Train Control (PTC) is a GPS-based safety technology which has the ability to significantly reduce the chances of train-to-train collisions, control derailments caused by speeding trains, and stop trains that veer off along incorrect rail branches or spurs caused by switches set in the wrong positions. Metrolink has published a detailed report and a video of how the technology works.



We predict PTC will be a vital asset for our regional rail transit system as fewer train wrecks will occur. PTC certainly won't stop motorists from driving around crossing gates nor prevent right-of-way trespassing, but it will certainly help prevent a repeat of the disastrous 2008 Chatsworth collision.

Positive Train Control and Garfield The Movie

An idea from Hollywood in 2004: Garfield sneaks his way to a Positive Train Control-like control panel booth in Los Angeles Union Station to remotely stop a departed Amtrak train in the film Garfield The Movie.
By the way, a footnote and idea from all this came from Hollywood last decade. Garfield The Movie, released in 2004--four years before the Chatsworth wreck--features a scene where Garfield the cat sneaks his way into a PTC-like control booth set in Los Angeles Union Station in an attempt to remotely stop and bring a departing Amtrak train back to the station in order to...Well, we won't spoil it, but Garfield fools with the controls, gets many trains routed onto the wrong tracks, numerous collisions are about to occur, but he eventually hits the "All Stop" panic button to stop the trains. He then routes his target train back to LAUS to continue his mission. Watch the movie to see where that fictional fiasco went, but for now, the real PTC has come.

2 comments:

  1. Do you have any information on the extent of the PTC installation? Is it throughout the Metrolink system, including freight trackage, or only on SCRRA-owned track?

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    1. All Southern California railroads will have PTC when complete. No exceptions.

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