Derailed US train lacked automatic safety system – investigators say

Derailed US train lacked automatic safety system – investigators say

Derailed US train lacked automatic safety system – investigators say

Written by Keshala Dias

20 Dec, 2017 | 2:38 pm

Technology that forces trains to adhere to speed limits was being installed on the express that crashed in the US state of Washington on Monday but was not yet operational, investigators say.

Three people died when the train derailed at 80mph (130km/h) on a bend with a speed limit of 30mph.

Officials say the train’s emergency brakes had been deployed automatically and not by the engineer.

A conductor undergoing training was in the cab at the time with the driver.

Bella Dinh-Zarr, of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), told reporters that positive train control (PTC) – a safety system that automatically slows or stops trains that are going too fast – was not operational on the train.

“The locomotive was in the process of getting a system of PTC installed but it was not yet functional,” she said.

In answer to a question, she said the board had long recommended that PTC be installed across all US rail systems.

But, she added, Congress had extended the deadline for implementation of the legislation from the end of 2015 until the end of 2018, a delay she described as “unfortunate”.

Courtesy: BBC

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