THE LOS ANGELES TIMES – MATT PEARCE
After a speeding Amtrak train derailed during its first trip on a new rail line — on the heels of two deadly passenger rail crashes blamed on high speed since 2015 — safety experts on Tuesday asked why the train did not have the latest automated control system.
The train was traveling 80 mph in a 30-mph zone on a newly opened $181-million segment of track south of Seattle, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Train cars spilled onto busy Interstate 5 and killed three train passengers.
The new 14.5-mile bypass, developed by the local government agency Sound Transit, was designed to allow the train to travel at faster speeds by avoiding cargo traffic.
But the passage was not yet equipped with what is known as a “positive train control system.” Such systems automatically slow down trains when they are approaching curves too quickly or headed toward a collision with another train.