GPS System Could Have Prevented Deadly Train Accident

GPS System Could Have Prevented Deadly Train Accident

According to NTSB, the rail switch was left in a position that led the train off the main track, causing this crash. Two Amtrak crew members were killed, and more than 100 people were injured.

Safety upgrades may have actually contributed to Sunday's deadly Amtrak crash, investigators revealed Monday.

Passengers aboard the Amtrak train that slammed into a freight train before dawn Sunday described being jolted from slumber as seats ripped away, awakening to screams and crying. "It could have avoided this accident. That's what it's created to do", said National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt. Maloney says the bill would prevent further delays of the December 31, 2018 deadline for implementing PTC and provide more than $2.5 billion in funding to assist passenger railroads in implementing the technology by the deadline.

PTC originally was supposed to be in place by the end of 2015, but after a push by the rail industry, Congress postponed the deadline until the end of this year, with the possibility that it could be extended to the end of 2020.

Federal Railroad Administration statistics from the middle of a year ago show Amtrak with PTC on 49 percent of locomotives and 67 percent of tracks. Richard Blumenthal of CT said the nation's railroads must be made safer, declaring, "Business as usual must end". Richard Blumenthal of CT said after this latest crash.

Amtrak Train 91, enroute from Miami to NY, collided with a freight convoy at around 2.35am local time. A crew on the freight train had moved the switch to drive it from one side track - where it unloaded 34 train cars of automobiles - to the side track where it was parked.

"A lot has been done and a lot needs to be done", Sumwalt said.

Sumwalt said officials have confirmed that a signal outage along the rail corridor meant that trains had to be manually directed through the area. NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said February 4 that determination is "key to the investigation is learning why that switch was lined that way".

An Amtrak passenger train apparently travelling on the wrong track collided with a parked freight train in SC on Sunday, killing two crew members and injuring at least 116 other people in the railroad's third fatal crash in as many months, authorities said.

He deferred to investigators about whether the system would have stopped this crash.

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"Key to this investigation is learning why the switch was lined that way", Robert Sumwalt, the chairman of the NTSB, told reporters Sunday.

Jaclyn Kinney, 22, of Pinehurst, North Carolina, said she and her boyfriend were asleep on the train as they traveled to Orlando for a trip to Disney World. "They have given these people so many extensions".

Cheeseman says he knew about the previous crash while boarding this weekend, but that one and the crash he was involved in will not prevent him from getting back onboard.

"She said she was just waiting on somebody to get to her", Neblett said, noting she was to have been picked up by a family member in Denmark, a community in SC. Eventually he was shuttled to a middle school with other passengers.

Sumwalt says data recovered from the Amtrak train shows the engineer hit the emergency brakes three seconds before the trains collided at 50 miles per hour (80 kph).

The impact killed the Amtrak train engineer and conductor and injured dozens of passengers.

NBC also reports 116 people were treated at local hospitals.

Steve Shelton, director for emergency preparedness at Palmetto Health System, where 62 passengers were hospitalized, said Monday that six patients remained there.

"Any time you have anything that happens like that, you expect more fatalities. Another train", Kempf said. The Amtrak train traveled 659 feet on the siding before it slammed into the CSX train, pushing it backward about 15 feet.