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Metrolink's Crash-Resistant Cars Evaluated

Metrolink has specific crash-resistant cars set in place in front of trains to help avoid derailment. These cars are passenger coaches used for when a locomotive is pushing a train from behind. They boast certain features that are intended to make them safer, including energy-absorbing crush zones.

However, Metrolink is now evaluating these "safety" features for their effectiveness. In fact, they are suspected to have played a part in the fatal train derailment earlier this year in Southern California. In February, one of their trains hit a pickup truck that had driven onto the tracks in the Oxnard area. The crash killed the engineer and caused injuries to 27 passengers aboard the train.

Plow-Like Attachment May have Failed in Crash

One of the crash-resistant cab cars was fitted with a plow-like attachment that might have failed in the collision. According to reports, this failure was said to have possibly allowed debris to get under the train's wheels, causing the derailment. As a response, Metrolink is performing in-depth evaluations of the plow-like attachment and their crash-resistant cars. They want to take steps to ensure the plow is as strong as possible, increasing its sturdiness if necessary.

A member of the railroad's board of directors noted that despite the potential costs of enhancing the plow the railroad will face, "You can't put a price on safety."

Metrolink Finds Intermediate Solution for Cars

While the evaluation of their crash-resistant cars may take a full year to complete, Metrolink doesn't want to slow down its trains. In the meantime, they are hoping to work out a viable solution to lease locomotives to go in front of the cars by the end of September.

While there haven't been any other notable issues brought up against the Hyundai Rotem cab cars involved in the crash, many believe the general use of cab cars in front of locomotives instead of behind is a serious safety concern. Since cab cars are extremely light weight, it can be easy for them to be lifted off the tracks. Without a train out in front, this can create an increased risk for derailment.

Thankfully, Metrolink is striving to create an agreement with BNSF Railway to secure trains that can lead their crash-resistant cab cars from the front until the full evaluation has been completed.

What to Do if You've Been in a Train Accident

Train accidents can be devastating, especially when derailment occurs. If you or a loved one have been injured in a train accident in California, make sure you seek counsel you can trust to be on your side. Having a skilled personal injury lawyer behind your case can make all the difference.

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