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Metrolink's crash-resistant cars are unveiled

May 3, 2010 | 11:12 am

Metrolink is unveiling the nation's first crash-resistant commuter rail cars, incorporating years of federal research. The cars are part of a multi-pronged effort to improve safety on the five-county system and shed a record of deadly accidents.

Look here for a detailed, interactive preview of the new cars. And here for more Metrolink coverage and a U.S. Department of Transportation crash test video comparing a conventional commuter rail car and the new energy-absorbing design.

Akin to the crushable bumpers added to automobiles in the 1970s, the 117 high-tech cars, costing a total of $230 million, are the product of years of federal research and a fast-tracked development push by the region's rail service after a horrific accident five years ago in Glendale.

Another deadly collision in 2008 exposed lax safety practices.

The agency hopes its voluntary deployment of the innovative train cars in the fall — after a summer of testing and federal certification — will mark a milestone in its effort to rebuild public trust and reassure its customers.

-- Rich Connell