AMARILLO, Texas (AP) – A spokesman for BNSF Railway says it’s not clear whether new safety technology was being used along the track in the Texas Panhandle where two freight trains collided head-on, injuring one crew member and leaving three others missing.
BNSF and other freight carriers have pledged to meet a 2018 federal deadline to adopt the technology, called positive train control or PTC.
With that deadline still two years away, it appears unlikely that the measures were in place Tuesday when the trains collided northeast of Amarillo. But BNSF spokesman Joe Faust says he needed to confirm with company officials whether any such technology was being used.
PTC relies on GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor train positions and automatically slow or stop trains that are in danger of colliding, derailing due to excessive speed or about to enter track where crews are working or that is otherwise off limits.