Amtrak

Rail safety deserves to be a higher priority

Rail safety deserves to be a higher priority

The letter Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao sent this week to the nation’s railroad executives urging them to meet a December 2018 deadline to install automatic braking technology known as Positive Train Control is a welcome development but not exactly a game-changer for U.S. passenger rail safety. If anything, the missive might be regarded as too little, too late given the circumstances of the Dec. 18 crash near Tacoma in which three passengers were killed as an Amtrak train derailed while going 80 miles per hour on a 30 mph curve. That stretch of track had PTC infrastructure; it just wasn’t operational yet.

Rail travel remains one of this country’s safest modes of...

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