Amtrak 501 wreck: Engineer “missed” approach sign

The engineer of Amtrak Cascades 501, which derailed on Dec. 18, 2017 in DuPont, Wash., has told the National Transportation Safety Board that he does not recall seeing an approach sign with a speed restriction placed two miles before the 30-mph curve upon which the derailment occurred.

Accidents that didn’t have to happen

On Dec. 18, 2017, Amtrak 501, the first Cascades passenger train operating over the Point Defiance Bypass in Washington State, careened off the rails as it entered a 30-mph speed-restricted curve at 80 mph. The investigations into the accident’s cause may take a year, even two.

UPDATED DEC. 20: Overspeed cause of Amtrak Cascades fatal derailment

Three people were killed and more than 70 were injured as an Amtrak Cascades train derailed early Dec. 18 while traversing a curve leading into an overpass at Interstate 5 southwest of Tacoma, Wash., sending a locomotive and passenger cars crashing onto the highway below.

Culture wars, Part 3

The National Transportation Safety Board, in its investgation into the April 3, 2016 fatal train accident involving Amtrak train 89 and maintenance-of-way equipment at Chester, Pa., made some damning determinations. I do mean damning, as in “leave your pass with the secretary, clean out your desk, and get off the property” damning.


Conrail restores NJT service in less than three days

It took Conrail maintenance-of-way forces less than three days to repair heavy damage to its Lehigh Line, a busy main line used by New Jersey Transit Raritan Valley Line (RVL) passenger trains and CSX and Norfolk Southern freights, following the derailment of a 141-car CSX mixed freight late on the afternoon of Dec. 8.

NTSB missed the mark

The NTSB analysis of the 2016 Amtrak backhoe accident on the Northeast Corridor at Chester, Pa., that killed two m/w workers and injured 39 has missed the mark. This incident is by no means the first of its kind.

Rail related fatalities up 3.5% in 2016

Railroad fatalities were up in 2016 as compared to 2015, following the overall trend upwards for total transportation deaths, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Culture wars, Part 1

I spent three hours viewing the video archive of the Nov. 14, 2017 National Transportation Safety Board meeting convened to review and approve the findings, probable cause and safety recommendations developed from NTSB investigation into the April 3, 2016 collision of Amtrak 89 with M/W equipment at Chester, Pa., on the Northeast Corridor.

NTSB: Amtrak safety culture to blame for fatal crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) blamed ignored procedures and a fractured safety culture for the April 3, 2016, derailment of Amtrak train 89 near Chester, Penn.

NJT touts safety initiatives

On Sept. 21, the same day the National Transportation Safety Board opened the docket on New Jersey Transit’s Sept. 29, 2016 Hoboken Terminal crash to the public, NJT announced it “has implemented a variety of rail safety upgrades over the past year and is looking at additional enhancements for the future, as part of its commitment to safety.”