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Placement of Signals May Have Contributed to Chatsworth Train Crash

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In 1996, 11 people died in Maryland when a regional commuter train slammed into an Amtrak train. It was largely blamed on distractions--the process of stopping at a station, loading passengers and starting up again--between the yellow and red signals. The engineer apparently forgot about the yellow warning and left the station at a high rate of speed, too much to stop at the junction where an Amtrak train was approaching.

Experts say the same thing may have contributed to the deadly Chatsworth Metrolink crash where the yellow signal is placed before the Chatsworth station and the red after the station. But Metrolink told the LA Times that they do not agree the placement can cause "potential distractions," even though the NTSB said the stopping at station includes "attention-demanding tasks." And despite Metrollink's refusal to agree that signal location played a role in the crash, they are reexamining signal locations.

After the Maryland crash, Metrolink said they added safety measures, but those appear to have been ignored the day of the Crash. Also, phone records indicate that train engineer Robert Sanchez was texting right before the crash that left 25 dead.