Report: Sound Transit Top Safety Officer Out

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
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According to a report from The Seattle Times, Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff has removed Chief Executive Safety and Quality Officer Salah Al-Tamimi, as a result of the fatal Amtrak Cascades passenger train derailment on Sound Transit-owned tracks in DuPont, Pierce County, in December 2017.

The Amtrak engineer involved in the 2017 derailment had operated a train there three times as part of his training, along with seven to 10 observational trips with Amtrak colleagues. However, the Seattle Times reported, whenever a Sound Transit light rail extension opens, the rail operators, trainees and vehicles undergo weeks of simulated revenue service, making hundreds of practice trips before a passenger ever boards the train.

Sound Transit executives are also considering whether and how to impose the same rigorous training on Amtrak that the agency and King County Metro demand for light rail service, Rogoff said in an interview Wednesday, according to the report.

The transit agency also is forming a separate safety division that Rogoff says “will bring a laser focus.”

Al-Tamimi is currently on medical leave, but might be able to return in a lower-ranked position in another department, Rogoff said. To replace him, Moises Gutierrez was promoted to interim director of the new safety division.

“He is a very good leader of people,” Rogoff said.

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