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An earthquake early warning system has been piloted in Riverside County

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PERRIS, CA – Technology that provides Metrolink crews with advance warnings of earthquake activity, and enables them to safely stop passenger trains before the shaking begins, will be used on the Perris Valley Line, it was announced Friday.

In a partnership between the California Department of Transportation, the US Geological Survey and the cities of Perrys and Riverside, the Earthquake Early Warning System will be activated as part of a pilot project in Southern California.

The system is linked to the USGS’ “ShakeAlert” network and will eventually be linked to the Metrolink positive train control platform, with the goal of automatically slowing and stopping passenger trains, without crew input.

But for now, the year-long pilot project calls for notifications to be sent to crews, who will be responsible for following instructions on how to deal with the impending earthquake, according to Metrolink.

“Safety is always our top priority at Caltrans,” said agency director Tox Umeshakin. “This new technology will provide innovative solutions to enhance safety on our transportation networks.”

The Perez Valley Line, which includes the area between Riverside and south Perice, via the Moreno Valley and Mars Air Reserve Base, will be the first to use the technology, and data from the project will be evaluated to measure effectiveness.

“The technology identifies where the rail network needs to be protected to safely continue rail operations,” said Robert Michael de Groot, a spokesman for the USGS Seismology Center. “We look forward to working together to deliver real-time earthquake early warning alerts powered by ShakeAlert.”

Officials said Bay Area Rapid Transit has used the system for the past 12 months in Northern California.

The goal is to be deployed throughout the entire Metrolink service area.

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