Railroad industry officials discussing technology that would have prevented February crash
The National Transportation Safety Board kicked off two days of hearings Tuesday to look into two recent deadly Amtrak crashes. The agency along with C.S.X., Amtrak and others are looking at last December's derailment in Dupont, Washington where three people died. They're also looking into the crash in Cayce early last February, that killed two and injured more than 100.
After the crash in the Midlands, N.T.S.B. investigators said a switch was in the wrong position, sending an Amtrak passenger train onto a side track where a C.S.X. freight train was parked. Officials said Positive Train Control could have prevented the crash. It uses G.P.S. monitoring to avoid the kind of human error that can put two trains on the same track, causing a collision.
Congress mandated the technology a decade ago, but has postponed the installation because of costs. Rail companies now have until the end of this year to install the system. In order for it to be implemented, all agencies need to test the components on all routes. Tuesday, that was still the case.
The N.T.S.B. still hasn't issued its final report on February's deadly crash in Cayce. The investigative hearings will wrap up tomorrow.