The rush to launch service on a new, faster Amtrak route near Seattle came at a deadly cost critical speed-control technology that could have prevented a derailment was not active before the train set off on its maiden voyage.
Work to install the sophisticated, GPS-based technology known as positive train control isn’t expected to be completed until next spring on the newly opened 15-mile (24-kilometer) span where the train derailed, according to Sound Transit, the public agency that owns the tracks.
The train was going 80 mph (129 kph) in a 30 mph (48 kph) zone Monday when it raced off the rails as they curved toward a bridge, hurtling train cars onto a highway below, investigators said. Three people were killed, and dozens were injured. Federal investigators say they are looking into whether the engineer was distracted.