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A way to improve the safety of a commuter rail service has been rolled out

A new safety system in the event of an earthquake has been rolled out for Metrolink services

The system automatically alerts Metrolink trains — which serve Ventura County — and applies the brakes in the event of an earthquake.

The cutting-edge technology utilizes the USGS Shake Alert system data to automatically stop or slow Metrolink trains before impacts of shaking occur.

"That alert gets sent to our Positive Train Control system and then based on all that information it allows the train to either slow down or stop in the event of an earthquake," explained Karen Bakar, from Metrolink, whose services operate in Ventura County.

ShakeAlert is an earthquake early warning system that provides important data within seconds of an earthquake being detected, including the earthquake’s location, magnitude and estimated shaking so people and systems can be alerted before shaking begins.

Positive Train Control is designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments and other unsafe actions.

Bakar explains that together, the two systems allow trains to detect and respond as quickly as possible to an earthquake.

Bakar said that at a time we are focused on train safety, this could save lives and minimize damage.

Bakar says that the trains will be alerted "almost immediately" to any problems and the alert allows safety inspection to the track and support resumption of service following an earthquake.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022.

Since joining the station she's won 7 Golden Mike Awards, 4 Los Angeles Press Club Awards and 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for ten years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.