Metra’s Union Pacific North line through Evanston may be among the first to get a positive train control safety system — despite funding shortages.

The lack of such a system has been seen as a factor in last weekend’s commuter train crash in New York that left four people dead.

Congress has set a deadline of 2015 for installing the systems on all passenger rail lines, but the industry has been pushing for delay.

The Chicago Tribune reports Metra claims it will cost $235 million to install positive train control on all  11 of its lines, and that it doesn’t have the money to complete the work in time.

But Metra says the four lines that are operated by major freight railroads — including the Union Pacific North line through Evanston — are likely to get the systems first, because the freight lines are further along in developing the safety system.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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