New Metrolink cars to better absorb impact

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Against the backdrop of several recent train crashes, Metrolink officials are set to roll out new cars designed to better withstand deadly wrecks on one of the nation’s most perilous rail systems.

A Los Angeles Times report in September identified several rail crossings along the San Fernando Valley corridor as especially dangerous, including the one at Buena Vista Street in Burbank.

The new rail cars, designed with “crush zones” that collapse to absorb impact, will be the first in the nation to use the technology, Metrolink spokeswoman Angela Starr said.

A cab and passenger car are expected next month, the first pair of what the rail agency plan to eventually make up a total of 117 such cars. The two cars are expected to go into operation next summer.

The announcement comes more than a year after a Metrolink commuter train collided with a Union Pacific freighter Sept. 12, 2008 in Chatsworth, killing 25 people and injuring 125 others.

Eleven people were killed nearly five years ago in Glendale in another crash.

And on Wednesday, a Metrolink train in Pacoima struck a car that had been sent onto the tracks after being hit by a truck from behind.

Developing story here.

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Written by Christopher Cadelago

December 24, 2009 at 3:13 pm

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