Safety technology might have prevented deadly Amtrak crash

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The deadly Amtrak derailment near Philadelphia appears to be yet another accident that didn't have to happen.

Accident investigators say information they've gathered shows the crash could have been avoided if a long-sought safety technology had been installed on Amtrak tracks.

Seven years ago, Congress gave Amtrak and freight and commuter railroads until the end of this year to install the technology, called positive train control, on their trains and tracks. But few, if any, railroads are expected to meet the deadline. Now some lawmakers are proposing to give railroads another five to seven years to get the task done.

The technology uses GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor train positions and can apply brakes automatically if trains exceed speed limits or are in danger of collision.