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Amtrak ordered to implement new safety regs on crash route

Amtrak, Derailment, engineer
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The federal government has ordered Amtrak to implement new safety regulations on the route where a train derailed last week, killing eight passengers.
 
The Federal Railroad Administration said in a Saturday statement it has told Amtrak to take steps to improve safety on the Northeast Corridor route that includes, among other cities, Boston, New York and Washington. 
 
{mosads}The order will be formalized “in the coming days.”
 
The agency is asking Amtrak to add a system to the northbound section of site where the train derailed near Philadelphia that can automatically slow a train down when it is moving too quickly. 
 
The lack of such a system has been suggested as a contributing factor in the crash.
 
At the time it derailed, the train was going much faster than the speed limit for that section of track.
 
Amtrak reportedly had not been able to bring the system online sooner, in part because for years they lacked the necessary radio frequencies on which to operate it.
 
The regulator wants Amtrak to study curves on the route where the speed at which the train approaches is must faster than the speech at which you can safely make the turn. 
 
Others curves on the route will be examined as well, to see whether the right technology has been implemented to stop a derailment.
 
Amtrak will also be ordered to improve signage indicating the speed limit on the route.
 
The crash has increased the focus on Amtrak and its funding. Some have accused Congress of not doing enough to provide money for the railroad — an idea Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dismissed.
 
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) urged the FRA on Saturday to expand its order concerning Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor so it included all railways nationwide.
 
“More important than one directive to one railroad is a broader, immediate national effort that provides riders the safety and assurance of Positive Train Control technology on all railroads,” he said in a statement.
 
“If FRA knows that there are other, additional steps that will make our railroads safer, it should issue an order requiring all railroads to institute those reforms without delay,” Blumenthal said.
 
“That’s why I have pursued legislation that would require these reforms if FRA fails to issue such a mandate.”

– Updated at 10:36 p.m.

Tags Amtrak Boehner John Boehner Richard Blumenthal
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