In 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board included Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation on its Most Wanted List of safety initiatives. The NTSB had been calling for the devices for 45 years at that point. Congress had taken action on that suggestion already in the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 by requiring all railroads to install the systems by December 31, 2015. With a handful of months remaining before the deadline, it appears unlikely that PTC devices will be in place on time for many railroads, including Metra.
On Monday, a Metra train collided with a semi truck in Bartlett. The truck driver involved in the crash is now being charged by Metra police for two violations. The 41-year-old man is being cited for violating a highway-rail grade crossing and avoiding a traffic control device, according to a spokesperson for Metra. The crash caused substantial damage to the semi-trailer and the automobiles it was hauling. Fortunately, there were no fatalities associated with the wreck. The truck driver, who works for a Pennsylvania trucking company, has been issued a November 18 court date in Cook County Circuit Court.