Automatic Train Braking System

1. In light of recent train derailment events, the need for fail-safe braking systems to prevent speeds that exceed the infrastructure’s capacity has become more necessary.



  • Federal Railroad Administration has ordered Amtrak to evaluate all rail lines to identify “hot spot” areas where trains should reduce speeds.
  • FRA has also ordered Amtrak to install automated speed control systems on all northbound trains that pass the curve where the most recent derailment occurred.
  • The automated train speed control system will act as a fail safe for human error.

3. Stakeholders for this technology currently include the FRA and Amtrak as they have been working to install these systems on specific train routes. The future of this technology may spread into other local train service providers throughout the country if mandated by the FRA. Additionally, the FTA (Federal Transit Administration) may decide to mandate this technology to be incorporated into transit systems throughout the country.

4. This technology can be deployed from the following methodology:

A. Engineering and testing of automated braking system to ensure quality and reliability

B. Establishment of an industry standard for train speeds and parameters at which the system will operate within.

C. Mandate that the system becomes installed in the jurisdiction’s train systems. Use of federal and local grants can help service providers implement this sooner.

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