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Rail News: Passenger Rail

California's Metrolink adds more train-stop systems


Metrolink recently installed Automatic Train Stop (ATS) systems at an additional 49 locations throughout its system. The southern California commuter-rail operator now has added ATS at a total of 105 locations.

Metrolink has obtained expedited approval from the Federal Railroad Administration to expand its use of ATS while it continues to accelerate the development and deployment of positive train control (PTC). The operator plans to install PTC on all trains by 2012, three years before the federally mandated deadline.

The ATS systems feature magnetic inductors installed adjacent to track where trains approach a curve or change speeds. The systems sound an alarm and flash an alert on an engineer's control panel when a train passes over an inductor, and brakes automatically are applied if the engineer doesn't push a button acknowledging the alert within eight seconds.