LIRR’s $1 billion safety system fails in early tests

Posted: Updated:
PORT WASHINGTON -

The Long Island Rail Road’s $1 billion safety system, designed to prevent crashes and save lives, has failed in its first tests.

MTA officials said Positive Train Control, or PTC, procedures has been tested 31 times since February. They said the software was tested both in the factory and on the LIRR's Port Washington branch.

PTC’s job is to automatically bring to a halt any train that violates a stop signal. Of those 31 times, officials said the system passed 13 but failed 16 times.

"Our system is significantly more complicated than anybody else's system, specifically moreso than the Amtrak system for which the PTC was designed," said MTA board member Mitch Pally. "There is no PTC to buy off the shelf. It has to be personally changed for every system, and our system is the most complicated system there is."

Pally said it’s much easier to implement PTC on Amtrak or other rail systems that go in a straight line for 30 miles at a time, as opposed to the multiple stops along the LIRR.

Investigators have said that PTC could have prevented a number of recent fatal train accidents, including a Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx that killed four people.

“I think it takes a lot of testing and research until they get it right," said Pally.

  • TransportationMore>>

  • Huntington officials unveil downtown shuttle service

    Huntington officials unveil downtown shuttle service

    Friday, August 17 2018 6:54 PM EDT2018-08-17 22:54:43 GMT

    Town of Huntington officials on Friday unveiled a new downtown shuttle service called Qwik Ride.

    Town of Huntington officials on Friday unveiled a new downtown shuttle service called Qwik Ride.

  • Trump's Hamptons visit causes traffic gridlock

    Trump's Hamptons visit causes traffic gridlock

    Friday, August 17 2018 6:25 PM EDT2018-08-17 22:25:12 GMT

    President Donald Trump's visit to a Southampton fundraiser Friday afternoon caused a traffic nightmare.

    President Donald Trump's visit to a Southampton fundraiser Friday afternoon caused a traffic nightmare.

  • Suffolk businesses urge state to improve Route 347 traffic

    Suffolk businesses urge state to improve Route 347 traffic

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 10:40 PM EDT2018-08-15 02:40:25 GMT

    Some businesses in Suffolk County are calling on the state Department of Transportation to alleviate traffic concerns along Route 347.

    Some businesses in Suffolk County are calling on the state Department of Transportation to alleviate traffic concerns along Route 347.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."