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PTC system may have prevented Bronx train crash, according to NTSB officials. Sunday's fatal Metro-North train crash left four people dead and dozens injured. But according to the NTSB, this crash may have been preventable. But how? YNN's Jessica Chen explains.
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- If there is technology that may have prevented Sunday's deadly train crash in the Bronx, that technology would be the Positive Train Control, also known as PTC.
"PTC is proven technology that can prevent train to train collisions over speed derailment and incursions into work zones," said Earl Weener of the National Transportation Safety Board.
During Tuesday's press conference, the NTSB praised the system.
So what is PTC? Hudson Valley Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who is also on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said it's simply GPS technology.
"It’s GPS and WiFi that tells us where trains are and allows us to slow them down even if the engineer doesn't," said Congressman Maloney.
According to a law passed by Congress in 2008, the PTC system is suppose to be implemented on all commuter and freight railroads by 2015. And just last month, the MTA awarded $428 million in contracts to help develop the system for Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road.
But Congressman Maloney said he believes the deadline won't be met because of money.
"We know this technology will save lives," he said.
So now, Congressman Maloney is introducing legislation that would allow commuter rail systems to apply for loans in order to implement the system sooner.
"Take existing low cost financing that’s available right now from the federal government for railroad improvement, and make it explicit, we can use that to implemented this technology," said Congressman Maloney.
Though it's still unclear if Sunday's train crash was caused by human error or mechanical malfunction, the NTSB said they stand by the PTC system for train safety.
"Since this is a derailment involving a high speed train, it’s possible that PTC could have prevented it," said Weener.