Some preliminary findings connected to the fatal Amtrak train derailment in DuPont are being released, starting with comments from the engineer, who remarked about the speed of the train just seconds before it derailed. The National Transportation Safety Board is out with some initial findings about the crash, which killed three people and injured nearly 100. They say that the engineer can be heard talking about an “over-speed condition” some six seconds prior to the derailment. It’s confirmed that no one in the cockpit of the train was using a cell phone or other electronic device; they say that the engineer apparently applied the brakes, but he didn’t engage the emergency brake. The last recorded speed of the train was 78 miles an hour, more than double the speed limit on that stretch of track. The recording stopped as the train was tilting and the crew was preparing for impact.
Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the original plans for revamping that stretch of track for use by Amtrak included the elimination of that 30 mile-an-hour curve. Those plans were eventually scrapped as a cost-saving move. It’s also being reported that Amtrak crew members were concerned about the training that was conducted, claiming that the training was inadequate and incomplete. The NTSB reportedly plans to post information on its website in the next few days, but they also note that the entire investigation could take as long as two years to complete.