Derailed US train was going three times speed limit

Derailed US train was going three times speed limit
# 19 December 2017 18:02 (UTC +04:00)

A train that derailed on a bridge outside of Tacoma, Washington, killing three people, was going nearly three times the posted speed limit, according to federal investigators, APA reports quoting Anadolu.

National Transportation Safety Board member Bella Dinh-Zarr told reporters late Monday the Amtrak train that was on its inaugural run south from Seattle to Portland, Oregon, on Monday, was traveling at 80 miles per hour (128 kilometers per hour) on a 30 mph (48 kph) zone of track.

"We were glad that we were able to get the data from the event data recorder from the rear locomotive," Dinh-Zarr said. "The front locomotive as you can imagine is a bit more difficult to access."

She said the train had 12 cars and two locomotives but only one locomotive remained on the track after the accident that spilled train cars onto a busy interstate.

The train was carrying 80 passengers, a crew of three and two service members, according to Dinh-Zarr. Scores of victims were injured when the train jumped the tracks leaving some in critical condition.

A National Railroad Passenger Corporation official said the train was not using a technology called positive train control, which can prevent derailments caused by excessive speed.

A law required all trains to install the technology by the end of the 2015 after a similar crash in California in 2008.

Congress, however, extended the deadline until 2019 after freight and commuter railroads complained about the difficulty of converting to the system that has been around for decades.

The mayor of Lakewood, Washington, that lies along the route, recently warned the track lacked safety features.

“Come back when there is that accident, and try to justify not putting in those safety enhancements,” Don Anderson told Washington state Department of Transportation officials earlier this month. “This project was never needed and endangers our citizens,” he said of the track.

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