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Letters: Expensive train safety plans

Workers labor on the site where a deadly

Workers labor on the site where a deadly train derailment occurred earlier in the week, Friday, May 15, 2015, in Philadelphia. Photo Credit: AP

Positive train control is an automated railway safety system that National Transportation Safety Board officials first proposed in 1970 ["LIRR on safety measure deadline: 'It can't be done,' " News, May 17].

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) was elected to Congress in 1980, where he remains, unfortunately. Democrats controlled the House from 1955 to 1994.

Amtrak has had many decades to install the technology, and it is disgusting that Schumer is now blaming Republicans for the failure by Amtrak, in all these years, to do what it was supposed to do.

He didn't seem to care before the deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia, a tragedy he is now exploiting. Schumer began blaming Republicans before the first victim of that accident was even buried.

Robert Sieger, Manhattan

The expense needed to implement positive train control, which automatically stops or slows a train to avoid accidents, could be negligible rather than in the billions, as estimated.

I would think that a simple global positioning system programmed with track data and showing problematic curves, etc., could alert the engineer that the train was approaching them.

The same mechanism that tells me to "turn left in 100 feet" could do this and, if necessary, automatically adjust the engine's speed control circuitry. There would be no need for track devices and no need for dependence on Internet bandwidth.

Who decided that exotic and costly technology was the way to go?

Joseph Russo, Centerport


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