Amtrak installs new brakes on deadly curve

Amtrak installs new brakes on deadly curve

Amtrak has installed an automatic train control system on the stretch of track where a train derailed in north Philadelphia, Transportation Secretary Anthony FoxxAnthony Renard FoxxBusiness, labor groups teaming in high-speed rail push Hillicon Valley: Uber, Lyft agree to take California labor win nationwide | Zoom to implement new security program along with FTC | Virgin Hyperloop completes first test ride with passengers Uber, Lyft eager to take California labor win nationwide MORE said Monday.

Known as ATC, the system is used to monitor the speed of trains as they approach sections of tracks that contain curves. Foxx said the system was put in place over the weekend, and could have prevented last week's deadly accident.


"We required Amtrak to install automatic train control, as well as to do inspections on the curves all along the Northeast Corridor," Foxx said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." 

"They have done that very carefully and we're confident the service should resume this morning." 

The Amtrak crash has touched off a debate in Congress about whether there should be more automation of trains in the United States. Congress had set a 2015 deadline for the installation of a separate system, called Positive Train Control (PTC), that would utilize some of the ATC equipment to fully automate trains, but some lawmakers have moved to push the deadline back to 2020

Foxx said Monday that Amtrak undertook "extraordinary measures" to get trains in the Northeast running again and to get the ATC braking system installed in the corridor. 

He added the Obama administration is opposed to pushing back the separate PTC deadline. 

"I have to say that the folks at Amtrak have taken extraordinary measures over the last several days to not only clear the site, but also to take these steps that we've asked them to take," he said. 

"The fact of the matter is that we have challenges in this country with making sure these technologies get in place," Foxx continued. "And we at the FRA [Federal Railroad Administration] as well as the DOT [Department of Transportation] have been working very carefully with Amtrak to make sure not only ATC but PTC gets installed by the end of the year. My understanding is that Amtrak is on pace do that." 

— This story was updated at 1:53 p.m.