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U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) last week joined Metrolink Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy, board members and other officials at Union Station in Los Angeles for a discussion of the safety benefits of positive train control (PTC).Metrolink, which was involved in a 2008 deadly train crash in Chatsworth, Calif., that prompted Congress to pass the PTC mandate, is on track to be the first passenger-rail system in the United States to have a fully operational, interoperable and certified PTC system, Metrolink officials said in a press release. PTC technology uses GPS to avert train collisions and stop trains from traveling at unsafe speeds. A longtime champion of PTC, Boxer has renewed her push for nationwide implementation of the technology since the May 12 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia, which left 12 passengers dead. Federal safety regulators said the accident could have been prevented if PTC was operating on the track where the train derailed. Boxer was given a demonstration of Metrolink's system, which is being installed along an additional 170 miles of track that Metrolink shares with Union Pacific Railroad and North County Transit District. PTC was installed and approved on Metrolink’s 341 miles of track in June.Leahy said interoperability testing is being conducted on the additional track, with the PTC system slated to be fully operational by year's end, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
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