Defective equipment delays PTC installation on LIRR

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RONKONKOMA -

A costly project to install potentially livesaving technology on the Long Island Rail Road has been delayed.

"Your reputation as a company, as a viable company, in this area hangs on what you do here," MTA Board member Charles Moerdler told the heads of Siemens and Bombardier, some of the world's most powerful railroad equipment makers.

Siemens and Bombardier admitted to the MTA on Monday that more than 4,000 radios and sensors as a part of its positive train control system are defective and will have to be replaced.

Positive train control, or PTC, is a federally mandated electronic crash prevention system. The billion-dollar program for the LIRR and Metro-North has been fraught with years of delays and problems. By law, it must be complete by the end of 2020.

Commuter Peter Pace says he feels safe on the LIRR but thinks PTC needs to be finished as soon as possible.

MTA board member Mitch Pally says the LIRR will now have to rush to install the new equipment before the 2020 deadline or else face hefty fines.

In the end, Pally says the MTA will bill the contractors for any extra expenses it incurs for installing all of the new radios and sensors.

And if improvements haven't been made, the MTA Board says it will call in the heads of Siemens and Bombardier to testify again about delays.

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