South Shore trains' safety upgrade aims to prevent collisions, derailments

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (WLS) -- South Shore trains are being equipped with new safety technology that is designed to prevent collisions and derailments.

The Positive Train Control (PTC) technology is a computer-based system that is designed to take over train operations if the engineer makes a mistake.

The technology is being add to the trains inside a Michigan City, Ind., warehouse.

Every railroad company in the country is mandated by Congress to install PTC on their trains and rails by the end of the year. However, two-year extensions are being allowed. The process is time consuming, complex and costly.

"It's a unique system that's never been designed before and it's very complicated, not only does it have to work on your line, but it has to incorporate in everyone's lines," said Michael Noland, president of the South Shore line.

Testing of the PTC started on the South Shore line on Monday and will continue for several months, but is not expected to impact riders.

"Our goal is to run trains during off peak times, it should not interfere with our revenue schedule," Noland said.

The PTC installation is costing the South Shore line over $100 million and it will cost millions more to maintain and operate. The goal is to have it up and running by the end of the year.
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