2007_05_trackworkers.jpgReader Steve said he heard a rumor that the NYC Transit Authority was "testing some type of new device that detects trains and warns workers via a clip on unit." And it turns out the rumor was true. The Post reports that the MTA started testing the ProTracker. This is how the ProTran1, which makes it, describes the device:

The ProTran1 ProTracker Train Transceiver is designed to be mounted in the cab of a train and will alert the operator by an audible and visual alarm to personnel near the train tracks.

The ProTran1 ProTracker Personal Pocket Device (PPD) Is a handheld R.F. transceiver designed to automatically send and receive digital commands to/from the ProTran1 ProTracker Train Unit. This unit will alert the user by an audible/vibrating alarm to an approaching train.

ProTran1 co-developer Peter Bartek told the Post he started work on the Pro-Tracker "after a friend was killed while working on Boston's subway tracks."

The device was tested near the Church Avenue F stop. The MTA is taking a hard look at safety procedures for transit workers after two were killed by oncoming trains within days of each other. One of the workers, Marvin Franklin, who also studied at the Art Students League, was remembered by fellow artists and friends in the Village Voice this past week. An art scholarship will be formed in his name and his friend Sam Goodsell said, "We're going to make sure something happens. He's not going to be forgotten. He's just too damn good."