Amtrak ordered to install safety systems after derailment

Federal Railroad Administration ordered Amtrak to install speed control systems after train derailment in Philadelphia kills eight

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) ordered Amtrak on Saturday to install speed control systems in trains operating in the northeast region of the country after one of its trains derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight people and injuring more than 200 on Tuesday.

"These are just initial steps, but we believe they will immediately improve safety for passengers on the Northeast Corridor," FRA acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg said in a news release.

Automatic train control system, which FRA wants Amtrak to install, detects trains moving faster than speed limit and sends a signal to the engineer to slow it down, and automatically applies brakes if the operator fails to reduce speed.

Feinberg said their final aim is to install positive train control (PTC) system, a more advanced system than ATC in preventing accidents.

"Based on what we know right now, we feel that had such a system been installed in this section of track, this accident would not have occurred," National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) board member Robert Sumwalt said referring to PTC after the crash.

Federal law requires railroad industry to have PTC installed by the end of 2015.

The New York City bound train was traveling at more than 170 kph speed entering a left turn curve where the speed limit is 80 kph at the time of derailment.

Initial NTSB investigation shoved that the train accelerated for a full minute before the crash.

NTSB said they were investigating the reason for acceleration as well as the reason for the derailment.

The engineer of the train, Brandon Bostian, told investigators that he had no memory of the derailment.

NTSB is also investigating whether an object struck the train before the crash or it may have any impact on the derailment.

TRTWorld and agencies