The Federal Railroad Administration is threatening to fine 13 railroads that have failed to meet the deadlines for installing automatic braking equipment. Each railroad faces a possible fine of $27,904 if they do not meet the December 31st deadline to have the equipment installed and their employees trained on how to properly use the technology.
Automatic braking systems became a requirement in 2008 following a deadly train accident in California that killed 25 people.
The automatic braking equipment is being added to 60,000 route miles nationwide in an effort to prevent accidents, derailments caused by excessive speed, unauthorized entry onto occupied tracks, and movements through a switch left in the wrong position. The technology will coordinate signals between the track, train, and dispatchers that will allow them to slow the train if the engineer isn’t responding and the dispatcher is notified about a blockage on the track or excessive speed.
As of March 31st around 60% of freight miles were completed but only 25% of commuter and intercity passenger miles have been completed.
FRA threatens 13 railroads with fines for delays installing automatic-braking equipment