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Metrolink commuter trains to get GPS devices two years ahead of schedule

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Metrolink says all its commuter trains will be outfitted with GPS-based tracking devices by next year, two years ahead of a federally mandated deadline for the safety system.

The Ventura County Star reports Sunday that the $200-plus million system, known as positive train control, will be the first of its kind among U.S. passenger railroads.

It monitors speed and location and can detect whether a train is on the wrong track or has missed signals to slow down — and if so, can automatically stop the train safely.

Metrolink Board Chairman Richard Katz tells the newspaper if the rail system had positive train control in place at the time of the 2008 Chatsworth crash that killed 25 people, the accident might have been avoided.

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