Last updated: 03:26 PM ET, Wed June 03 2015

Amtrak President Gives Train 188 Crash Testimony to US Government

Car Rental & Rail | Amtrak | Donald Wood | June 03, 2015

Amtrak President Gives Train 188 Crash Testimony to US Government

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On Tuesday afternoon, Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman shared his written testimony regarding the Amtrak Train 188 derailment in Philadelphia, and what safety measures have been taken since, with the United States House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

According to Amtrak, Boardman expressed to the U.S. House Committee that the Northeast Corridor (NEC) has some of the best safety systems in the entire nation, citing the fact that the last fatal accident on the NEC before the May 12 incident was 28 years ago.

While Boardman and the entire Amtrak company accepts responsibility and has made immediate changes to avoid a similar accident from ever happening again, there is still an ongoing investigation into the cause of the derailment, including the possibility of the train’s engineer being at fault.

Boardman was adamant about the safety measures the company has in place already, saying in the report, “In no other place is a comparable volume of traffic moved with such a solid record. In addition to a thorough training, oversight and coaching system for our crews, we have a layered signal system that provides trains with multiple levels of protection.”

In the report, Amtrak claims that the section of the track where the accident took place was designed for trains traveling at 50 miles per hour coming into the turn. With Train 188 clocked at 102 miles per hour when it derailed, there was nothing the existing safety protocols could have done, hence the need for major changes in Port Richmond and throughout the NEC.

Amtrak already has a Positive Train Control (PTC) system in service from New Haven, Connecticut, to Boston, and at points in the NEC where trains exceed 125 miles per hour, but the system is already installed throughout Amtrak’s fleet.

Boardman claims all PTC systems will be operational by the federal deadline of Dec. 31.

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