Saturday, November 04, 2006

Robot Trains Not Welcome

A recent idea for small robot trains to run on America's underutilized railroad tracks may face more hurdles than just technological problems.
In the US there are around 3000 accidents per year at highway railroad crossings. (Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis)

Quoted from Oregon Public Broadcasting:
By Elizabeth Wynne-Johnson

Officials in Hermiston, Oregon are squaring off against the nation's largest railroad over remote-controlled trains.

Union Pacific already uses remote control to move locomotives inside dozens of Northwest rail yards. The company says the technology enhances safety and reduces human error.

Hermiston officials got an anonymous tip this week that Union Pacific was planning a test run right through town in the wee hours of the morning.

City Manager Ed Brookshire says the tracks through Hermiston include too many dangerous crossings. But Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis says no such test was planned.

Mark Davis: "I think it was probably a misunderstanding or a rumor that was started bc of all the data gathering over the last several weeks."

The railroad is using a stretch of the Hermiston track for computer modeling. But it says more study and federal approval are needed.

Public NewsRoom


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