One of three passengers killed in an Amtrak train derailment Monday has been identified as a Pierce Transit employee.
The deadly derailment of an Amtrak train south of Seattle is likely to intensify scrutiny of the national passenger railroad company’s safety record, which was already under the microscope following a series of fatal incidents. That person along with the other crew members remain hospitalized and will be questioned in the next day or two, said Bella Dinh-Zarr, a National Transportation Safety Board member.
The bypass would allow speeds to be increased up to 79 miles per hour, cutting journey times between Portland and Seattle, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said. “Positive Train Control might have prevented this disaster and saved lives”, Blumenthal tweeted.
“We have recommended PTC for decades”, Dinh-Zarr told CNN on Tuesday. The route was moved inland through more populated areas.
The information about the train’s speed was retrieved from a data recorder in the rear locomotive.
So far, one of two black boxes were recovered from the rear locomotive, Dinh-Zarr said.
The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office has not released the names of the other passengers killed. Inspire’s August issue was dedicated entirely to targeting rail networks in the United States of America and Europe, and carried an 18-page guide explaining how to build a tool that could easily derail trains. “That could have been the train that I’m on”. The other cars all derailed. One rail vehicle dangled precariously over the highway. Ten of those hurt were in serious condition, four had moderate injuries, and another nine suffered minor injuries, he said.
Five vehicles and two trucks were involved in the accident, and the highway was littered with fragments of the bridge and tree branches.
Don Anderson, mayor of Lakewood, about 11 miles northeast of the crash site, said shortly after the wreck that the tragedy could have been avoided if “better choices had been made” about using the route for upgraded passenger service. Investigators will look at the engineer’s phone to see if it was in use.
NTSB officials said that investigators have not yet spoken with the train crew and they were uncertain whether the crew was familiar with the speed limits in the zone.
A report in Politico pointed to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) warning a terrorist attack on Amtrak trains.
Dinh-Zarr said it is not yet known what caused the train to run off the rails and too early to say why it was going so fast.
In May 2011, in Hoboken, New Jersey, human error contributed to the collision of a commuter train with the bumping post at the end of the track. The target date for having the PTC operational for that segment of the track had been the second quarter of 2018.
PTC had been activated on just 16 percent of tracks for freight and on just 24 percent of passenger rail lines by the end of 2016, the Federal Railroad Administration reported in March.
The biggest obstacle to PTC: cost. Railroads were supposed to have the system in place by 2015, but after it became clear that many of them would not meet that deadline, Congress extended it by three years. Washington and OR jointly operate the Amtrak Cascades intercity passenger service.
The train was running on track previously used for occasional freight and military transport, the Washington Department of Transportation said.
At a Monday night press briefing, Capt. Dan Hall with the Washington State Patrol said 19 people – including motorists and people aboard the train – were transported from the scene uninjured and 72 people were transported and evaluated.
Unfortunately, for PTC to work properly, there must be close cooperation and coordination between the many different entities which own the different tracks to which the devices are attached, and the owners of over 500 different railroad companies which may run on these many different tracks.
Sound Transit didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.