Questions Surrounding the State of Rail Safety Abound in the Wake of the Washington Amtrak Derailment
As news and investigative reports continue to pour in, it has become clear that the Amtrak derailment should not have occurred and that the safety procedures of the rail industry need to be reviewed. Questions abound. As the NTSB has noted, “So far, there are many questions but few answers.”
It’s unclear why the train was traveling 80 mph in a 30-mph zone. Safety procedures such as positive train control were not in effect. The incident also raises the question of why Amtrak is not requiring two-person crews in locomotive cabs instead of one. On Thursday, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell called on Congress to hold hearings on Amtrak safety standards and the state of federal rail safety regulations in the wake of the Amtrak derailment south of Tacoma earlier this week. The derailment killed three people and injured more than 70.
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Amtrak speed-control technology was months away