A Coaster train heading north on the Del Mar bluffs. Photo by Chris Jennewein
A Coaster train heading north on the Del Mar bluffs. Photo by Chris Jennewein

The North County Transit District is one step closer to the full implementation of a “positive train control” system to prevent human error from causing Coaster train accidents.

Following successful installation and testing, the district said last week it has applied to the Federal Railroad Administration to begin revenue service demonstration, the final step before the system is ready

“This filing is a major milestone in our ongoing work to bring this technology to NCTD,” said Eric Roe, deputy chief operations officer of rail systems for the district. “Implementing a system as complex as this does not happen overnight. But with that complexity comes a great leap forward in greater rail safety.”

During the demonstration, the district will collect data on the behavior of the system under the Coaster’s normal operating conditions.

The technology leverages the Global Position System to monitor train locations and is able to step in to stop a train when a potential accident could occur due to inattention, or crew inability. Congress has required most railroads to install the system.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.