Speed controls weren’t turned on in location of Amtrak Phila. crash

PHILADELPHIA — There are two speed control systems installed on railroad tracks near the crash site of Amtrak Train 188 in Philadelphia. But one isn’t turned on, and the other is on tracks only in the southbound direction.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and others say an automated braking system might have prevented the speeding train’s crash that resulted in the deaths of eight people.

U.S. News and World Reports has learned from U.S. Reps. Andy Harris, R-Maryland, and Charlie Dent, R-Pennsylvania, that Amtrak’s version of positive train control in the area of the crash had not been turned on.

Amtrak President Joseph Boardman confirms that to the Associated Press, explaining that the system was not activated because it needs additional testing.

“By the end of the year we will have positive train control and we will not have another accident like this,” Boardman says, referring to Amtrak’s busy Northeast Corridor.

The less-sophisticated, older automated speed control system on tracks in the southbound direction near the crash wasn’t installed northbound because, Boardman says, officials didn’t believe trains could gain enough speed in that area for it to be necessary.

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