Three Trains Crash; Where Were GPS and PTC?

Even Passenger Automobiles Can Now Be Followed Via Cell Tracking
WASHINGTON - March 3, 2024 - PRLog -- On Saturday, three Norfolk Southern trains crashed violently into each other and derailed near Easton, Pennsylvania in only the latest in a string of recent serious railroad crashes and derailments.

But crashes such as these might have been prevented by the proper and effective use of the same GPS which allows me to track the position and speed of my personal automobile from anywhere in the world, argues Professor John Banzhaf - an MIT-educated engineer with several patents whose proposals for safer school buses were adopted by the government.

Banzhaf also outlined more than four years ago how GPS could and should be used to prevent deadly railroad train accidents:
What's The Reason Behind Amtrak Train Crash? (
Railroad Could Have Installed Inexpensive GPS-Based Speed Control Systems (

These very expensive and complicated PTC systems incorporate GPS technology, along with on-board computers and other systems, to continuously monitor both train location and speed, notes Banzhaf, who wrote way back in 2018:
NTSB Report Shows How Bureaucratic Inertia is Killing Train Passengers (
Railroads Should Be Required to Install GPS Speed Control Systems Now, and Not Wait For PTC (

So, since it is possible for even inexpensive private automobiles to send real-time information about their location and speed over cell towers and the Internet, it should certainly be possible for computer systems, as well as the humans operating them at a headquarters location, to see when one dot on a display screen is about to hit another dot on the map and take appropriate measures to prevent a deadly train crash.

Since all three trains involved in this pileup were owned and operated by the same company, this dangerous multiple-event collision and multi-car derailment - an eastbound train first collided with a stopped train, and then a westbound train hit the wreckage of the two - can't be blamed on problems two different systems might have in communicating with each other.

Perhaps, with almost 20 serious railroad accidents (many involving injuries/deaths and/or spilled hazardous materials) just last year alone, it's time for the NTSB - and members of the media reporting on serious railroad accidents - to press railroad representatives and responsible government officials to explain precisely why GPS systems, perhaps in conjunction with  computers and AI, are not preventing most if not all such collisions.   @profbanzhaf

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