SAFETY

Interior Seating for the XpressWest

By providing an alternative to automobile transportation between southern California and Las Vegas, operation of XpressWest will reduce traffic volumes on the I-15, particularly during peak weekend travel periods.15 The Project would reduce approximately 500 vehicles per peak hour in the peak direction in the opening year, increasing to 1,400 vehicles in the horizon year.16 This will relieve congestion along the I-15 resulting in a beneficial effect.17 The reduction in traffic volumes on freeway mainlines could potentially improve safety in a freeway corridor known to have a higher-than-average accident rate, attributable in large part to excessive levels of congestion.18 Traffic reduction also contributes to improved air quality, as fewer vehicles on the road would result in a corresponding reduction of the emission of air pollutants.19

XpressWest high speed trains will travel on a dedicated track not shared with any other trains, freight or passenger. There will be no at-grade crossings on the system. State-of-the-art signaling and control systems will be in compliance with the FRA’s new Positive Train Control (PTC) requirements. PTC systems are integrated command, control, communications, and information systems for controlling train movements with safety, security, precision, and efficiency. PTC systems can optimize operations and financial health by enabling minimal headways at maximum speeds in dense traffic conditions, improving system awareness and responsiveness, reducing the need for expensive legacy trackside infrastructure, all while realizing substantial safety performance improvements. Implementation of PTC was included as a part of the National Transportation Safety Board’s “Most Wanted” safety improvement list from 1990 until the passage of the Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) in 2008.

XpressWest’s system features a fully segregated double-track guide way. By avoiding mixing of multiple operators and slower speed passenger and freight rail traffic, enabling largely directional traffic on each track, and eliminating at-grade road crossings, the core system will have fundamentally reduced some of the greatest safety risks presently faced by most passenger rail systems in the U.S. XpressWest’ integrated PTC system will provide additional layers of protection and security in areas including:

Implementation of the XpressWest will result in a near-term robust fully compliant major high speed rail PTC system purchase. This will support U.S. vendors who have made substantial investments in research and development, human resources, and assets to meet the needs of this developing market. This significant system purchase should also serve to reduce costs somewhat for all railroads subject to the PTC implementation requirements, particularly future high speed systems. This is because each large scale investment will dilute the amount of unique development costs and market risk suppliers will seek to recover per implementation.

Incorporating state-of-the-art safety measures such as broken rail detection, seismic detection and intrusion detection technology, XpressWest will ensure the highest level of passenger protection.

15 Record of Decision, XpressWest High Speed Passenger Train, pg. 45.

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid.

18 Ibid.

19 Ibid.



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