Positive train control could have prevented train accidents

One year after the Puyuma Express train derailment

October 21st marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic Puyuma Express train derailment in Taiwan’s’ Yilan county. 18 people were killed, and 215 were injured. The direct cause of the accident was found to be speeding in a curve while the train protection system (ATP) was wrongfully disabled. This fatal accident was a stark reminder that a vast improvement in Taiwan’s train safety is critically important. Last Thursday, Taiwan’s legislator Chen Man-li proposed to the Ministry of Transportation and Communication and Taiwan Railways Administration that a train control system with remote monitoring and controlling capabilities, such as Positive Train Control (PTC), should be added to existing and new trains to prevent future accidents.

Most train accidents are caused by human error

In the U.S., there were almost 2,000 train-related accidents in 2018, higher than the previous two years, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. In 2017, there were 1,855 significant railway accidents in the EU, according to the European Union Agency for Railways. Looking back at past train accidents, the great majority of them have been resulted from human factor causes.

Positive Train Control could have prevented these accidents

LILEE Systems was founded when the industry, government and people resolved to create a system that would prevent train accidents due to human error. After the 2008 Metrolink crash in the Chatsworth district of Los Angeles, a federal mandate required railways that carry passengers and certain hazardous materials to implement Positive Train Control (PTC). As of July 2019, 91% of Class I PTC route-miles are operational in the U.S. LILEE Systems has been an industry leader, working with 5 of the 7 Class I railroads to implement PTC across 60,000 miles of freight and passenger tracks in North America.

PTC is designed to prevent train-to-train collisions and derailments due to excessive train speed, unauthorized incursions into work zones, and unauthorized train movements through misaligned track switches.

Lessons learnt from the Puyuma Express train derailment, a train control system like PTC has been recommended to avoid similar accidents in the future, according to Taiwanese legislator Chen Man-li. The Ministry of Transportation and Communication also announced the formation of R-team, a group of industry leaders working together to solve current railway challenges. As a member of R-team, LILEE strives to dedicate our proven solution and technology to the improvements of rail safety and performance.

In parallel, LILEE teams started developing solutions that would leverage our core capabilities in communications-based technology to help other transportation modes improve safety. To address the bussing industry, for example, we have added video-based safety solutions that take advantage of our high-capacity, ultra-reliable communications technology.  A video-based safety program can provide insight into risky driving behaviors and present unbiased analysis to increase absolution and help carriers avoid costly incidents.

Safety is a core value of LILEE. With years of experience in connected transportation, it is our undisputed advantage to deliver smart transportation solutions, integrating machine learning and artificial intelligence with video-based safety to enable operational excellence in rail, bus, and autonomous vehicles.


About LILEE Systems:

LILEE Systems provides real-time connectivity for onboard devices in trains, buses, other mobile assets and for smart cities. We enable a variety of applications such as passenger Wi-Fi, CAD/AVL, infotainment, video- and sensor-based safety applications, and telematics. LILEE’s edge gateways also run third-party applications and optimize connectivity through dynamic load balancing to lower cellular costs. LILEE Systems, listed as an Inc. 500 fastest-growing private company, is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Taipei and Amsterdam.


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LILEE Systems Contact:
E-mail: sales@lileesystems.com
Phone: +1 408.988.8672

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