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Railroad Automatic Braking System Requires Improvement to Enhance Safety and Prevent Derailments, States Safety Board

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Railroad Automatic Braking System Requires Improvement to Prevent Derailments, Says Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a report stating that the automatic braking system installed by railroads several years ago needs improvement to effectively prevent collisions and derailments. The report urges the Federal Railroad Administration and the industry to continue developing new technology to enhance Positive Train Control (PTC) systems. The NTSB's recommendations include practical ideas that railroads can implement quickly. The automatic braking system, which has been in place on approximately 58,000 miles of track nationwide since 2020, is designed to reduce human error by automatically stopping trains in certain situations. However, the NTSB has found that the system has limitations and more can be done to strengthen safety. The NTSB has stated that Positive Train Control could have prevented over 150 train crashes since 1969. Congress mandated the system in 2008 following a fatal collision in California. Railroads have invested significant time and resources in developing and implementing the system. The report highlights shortcomings of the current braking system, including the need for a way to automatically reactivate the system after it is manually disabled for switching movements. The system also relies on engineers to stop trains in time, which is not always effective. Additionally, the system lacks the ability to detect objects on the tracks and prevent rear-end collisions. Railroads and the industry are committed to enhancing the braking system and exploring improvements. However, there is still work to be done to achieve zero deaths and strengthen overall rail safety. In conclusion, the NTSB's report emphasizes the importance of continuous improvement in railroad automatic braking systems to prevent derailments and enhance safety. By addressing the limitations and implementing the recommended enhancements, railroads can further mitigate risks and ensure the well-being of passengers and crew.

Implications of the NTSB's Report for New Businesses in the Railroad Industry

The recent report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on the need for improvements in the railroad automatic braking system presents both challenges and opportunities for new businesses in the railroad industry.

Challenges and Opportunities

The identified shortcomings of the current braking system, such as its inability to automatically reactivate after manual disabling and its reliance on engineers for timely stops, point to areas where innovation is needed. This presents an opportunity for new businesses specializing in railroad technology to develop solutions that address these issues, potentially gaining a competitive edge in the market.
Investing in Safety
Moreover, the emphasis on the need to enhance safety and prevent derailments underscores the importance of investing in safety measures for any new business in the industry. By prioritizing safety and aligning their business strategies with the recommendations of the NTSB, new businesses can not only mitigate risks but also build a strong reputation for safety and reliability, which could translate into increased customer trust and business growth. In summary, while the report highlights significant challenges in the current railroad automatic braking system, it also opens up avenues for innovation and improvement, offering a unique opportunity for new businesses to make their mark in the industry.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/railroad-automatic-braking-system-needs-improvement-to-prevent-more-derailments-safety-board-says
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