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.

Kyle Cooper

Anchor and reporter Kyle Cooper, has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana, and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

© 2015 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up