SunRail failed setting up required safety network in time; Feds say delay endangered lives Phil Ammann 02/12/2016 Our Politics Florida’s SunRail commuter rail system failed to implement new safety features within the allotted time set by the government, which federal officials say led to a delay that endangered lives. LobbyTools reports that after the federal government had mandated commuter and freight train systems to set up a wide-ranging web of safeguards by 2018, but some — including SunRail — asked for a two-year delay. SunRail representatives say they are working on the federal safety directives, called “positive train control,” which is expected to cost about $35 million. Positive train controls utilize a system of satellites, wireless communication, and computers for automatically slowing or stopping speeding trains heading for a collision and derailment. LobbyTools notes that officials believe such a system could have saved the lives of eight passengers killed last year in a speeding Amtrak crash in Philadelphia “Positive Train Control prevents rail accidents and saves lives. We are encouraged that many railroads have submitted plans to meet — some even to beat — 2018,” said Federal Railroad Administration representative Sarah Feinberg. “But we remain concerned that several other freight and passenger railroads are aiming for 2020.” The state-operated SunRail considered outside contractors to do the work last year. However, new technologies forced a delay in implementation and led to the request Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson Steve Olson told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The state will continue the search for contractors, with the goal of having them in place by the end of the year. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.