You’ve probably heard of the massive Amtrak accident that occurred toward the end of last month in DuPont, Washington. The accident occurred when Amtrak Cascades 501 entered a curved overpass at 80mph, nearly triple the curve’s speed limit of 30mph. The train derailed as it went around the curve, sending several passenger vehicles into the air and into the rush hour traffic passing underneath. Over 100 people suffered injuries in the accident and at least three died.
At first glance, the primary cause of the accident was the train’s speed. But could something have been done to slow the train down before the accident? Could positive train control (PTC) have stopped Amtrak Cascades 501?
What is Positive Train Control and How Could It Have Saved Amtrak Cascades 501?
PTC is a system that uses GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor a train’s movements and speed. If a train shows signs that it is moving too quickly or may cause an accident, PTC can automatically slow down or stop the locomotive. The Federal Railroad Association has said in the past that PTC is the single most important advancement in rail safety in over a century.
Around 40 percent of train crashes are caused by human error. If all rails and trains were to be equipped with PTC, the designers believe that most or all of these accidents could be eliminated. For these reasons, the federal government has mandated that all trains be equipped with PTC by the end of 2018.
Amtrak has since equipped 49 percent of its trains and 67 percent of its rails with PTC. The rail where the derailment occurred was actually equipped with PTC; however, it is not due to become operational until the second quarter of 2018.
If you have been injured in a West Coast train crash, our law firm can help.
400 + 5 Star Reviews!
Chances are you’re here because you or someone close to you has been hurt. Your life has been turned upside down. The “it’ll never happen to me” mentality gets thrown out the window- No pun intended. And chances are you know someone who knows some lawyer who did a thing and blah blah blah. [READ MORE]
They handled my case involving a car accident. They’re extremely polite and professional. Any questions I had they addressed them immediately, I never had to wait for a reply. Everything about my experience with this firm has been the absolute best. I without a doubt recommend them [READ MORE]
5 Stars! Outstanding firm dedicated to “righting wrongs” for people in need! So glad I contacted [READ MORE]