Tuesday, September 20, 2005

NTSB: Chicago Train Wreck Was Preventable

NTSB Acting Chairman Says Automatic Braking Might Have Prevented Chicago-Area Train Derailment
A fatal train derailment this weekend might not have happened if the route had an automatic system that applies a train's brakes when an engineer fails to do so, federal officials said Monday.
"I believe it (the braking system) would have prevented this type of accident," said National Transportation Safety Board acting chairman Mark Rosenker.
Metra has automatic braking systems on three of its 11 routes serving Chicago and its suburbs, but commuter rail officials say it is expensive and not essential.Investigators are trying to determine why a Metra train was traveling nearly 70 mph Saturday when it derailed while switching tracks, a maneuver that required it to slow to 10 mph. Two people were killed in the accident.


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