Final testing of PTC system on Amtrak Cascades line

Sep 16, 2018, 8:15 AM
positive train control...
The site of an Amtrak train derailment near DuPont, Wash. (WSDOT)

Trains are in the final phase of testing of the new positive train control system that has been installed on the entire Amtrak Cascades rail line nine months after a deadly derailment near Dupont.

That fatal accident occurred on the inaugural run on the new Point Defiance bypass, killing three. The federal government ordered Amtrak to install Positive Train Control or P.T.C.

An Amtrak Cascades train roared past on its final test run of this Saturday. Workers spent the day testing the new positive train control system on the last of the trains that use this rail line.

“The final pieces of Amtrak Cascades fleet are being tested and approved so that they can go into service using positive train control,” said Janet Matkin, a spokeswoman for the Washington state Department of Transportation.

Matkin says the new P.T.C. equipment was installed on the trains and on the tracks, working in concert with a new back office server.

“We now have all three of those components in place,” Matkin said. “And now the future testing will be how well they work together.”

This comes in response to the deadly derailment on this rail-line last December. Seventy-seven passengers were on board Amtrak Cascades Train 501 on its inaugural run along the new Point Defiance Bypass near Lakewood.

As the speeding train approached a railroad bridge over I-5, it derailed. Three people died. The feds gave the agencies involved until Dec. 31 to have P.T.C. up and running to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Matkin says Amtrak and Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad insist they will be ready.

“They are totally confident that everything will be fully operational by the deadline,” she said.

But they won’t use the new bypass until the National Transportation Safety Board releases its full report on the deadly accident. That isn’t expected to happen until next spring.

The testing resumes Sunday morning.

By Deborah Horne, KIRO 7

Local News

ezells chicken harassment...
Logan Gilbert

Worker sues Ezell’s Famous Chicken over sexual harassment claims

A worker has filed a lawsuit against Ezell's Famous Chicken for sexual harassment, and she claims that they company didn't do enough to stop the harassment.
19 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Joe Kent surpasses Jaime Herrera Beutler in WA 3rd Congressional District’s tightly contested race

A Trump-backed candidate for Congress, Joe Kent, has overtaken the incumbent in Washington's Third Congressional District.
19 hours ago
(Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

KIRO Newsradio Headlines: Sexual assault prevention now a part of sex-ed, Boeing’s Dreamliner returns

KIRO Newsradio Headlines brings you a selection of quick stories to catch up on your news in the morning of Aug. 8
19 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Video: Watch US Army paratroopers skydive from 12,500 feet for Seafair 2022

KIRO Newsradio films the U.S. Army Parachute Team — also known as the Golden Knights — jump from 12,500 feet into the air for Seafair 2022.
19 hours ago
(KIRO 7)...
MyNorthwest Staff

Seafair hydroplane race decided by penalty once again, Kelly wins fourth contest

It’s the third consecutive race that Shane saw a win at Seafair taken away via penalty and it’s the fourth consecutive Final at Seafair decided by penalty.
19 hours ago
Photo from KIRO 7...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Kidd Valley announces closure of original 1976 restaurant in University District

The original Kidd Valley restaurant, which opened in 1976, will be permanently closing, according to a Facebook post from Kidd Valley.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
Final testing of PTC system on Amtrak Cascades line