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Rail Transportation

What is Positive Train Control?

From Union Pacific:

Positive Train Control (PTC) is an advanced system designed to automatically stop a train before certain accidents occur. In particular, PTC is designed to prevent:

  • Train-to-train collisions
  • Derailments caused by excessive train speed
  • Train movements through misaligned track switches
  • Unauthorized train entry into work zones.



Read more here.

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What is positive train control and why wasn’t it being used in the Amtrak train crash?

Selected Databases

Association of American Railroads

Federal Railroad Administration

National Transportation Safety Board

Books in the Transportation Library