Amtrak won’t use same route until positive train control is used

Dec 21, 2017, 3:50 PM | Updated: 5:17 pm

positive train control...

The site of an Amtrak train derailment near DuPont, Wash. (WSDOT)


Amtrak trains won’t travel to the same stretch of rail where a deadly derailment occurred earlier this week  until some changes are made.

RELATED: What positive train control has to do with the fatal Amtrak derailment

The Washington State Department of Transportation says all Amtrak trains must have Positive Train Control before returning to the Point Defiance Bypass. That is the point near DuPont where a train was traveling 80 mph in a 30 mph zone before derailing. PTC is technology that would have automatically slowed the train.

The National Transportation Safety Board has confirmed that the technology was not installed on the train that derailed on Monday, killing three people. Amtrak’s President Richard Andersen says they want to have PTC installed statewide by the end of next year.

“If the litmus test is that PTC needs to be fully activated to operate passenger rail service, then there would not be any passenger rail service statewide and in many areas of the country,” a WSDOT spokesperson told KIRO 7.

Positive Train Control has three parts: an on board system; a trackside system; and computer servers to process data. All three communicate to monitor train and track conditions.

“At the time of the presentation to the Lakewood City Council a year ago, PTC equipment was being installed on the new Charger locomotives being manufactured for delivery in the upcoming months,” the spokesperson said. “In addition, trackside PTC equipment was being installed on the Point Defiance Bypass as part of the joint WSDOT-Sound Transit capital improvement project. The back office server is managed by Amtrak.”

Local News

gas stovetops...

Heather Bosch

WA Rep. maintains fervent push to keep gas stovetops unregulated

U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse introduced a bill on Monday to block the new Department of Energy conservation standards for gas stovetops.

21 hours ago

missing girl Cle Elum river...

KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Missing 10-year-old girl found alive near Cle Elum River

A 10-year-old girl who was missing near the Cle Elum River for nearly 30 hours was found alive Monday afternoon.

21 hours ago

Caleb Heimlich...

Bill Kaczaraba

WA State Republican chair Caleb Heimlich stepping down

The chair of the Washington state Republican party, Caleb Heimlich, is stepping down effective August 12th.

21 hours ago

Garfield High...

Frank Sumrall

Garfield HS the focus of school safety precautions following nearby violence

Garfield High School and Nova High School both had its students return on campus in person Monday after locking down the campus last week.

21 hours ago

Burien encampment moved park...

Sam Campbell

Burien encampment moved again, now located at city park

A homeless encampment in downtown Burien is being cleared after a struggle between the city, county, and residents who want it gone.

21 hours ago

Great Seattle Fire...

Ted Buehner

Could ‘Great Seattle Fire’ happen again with current warm streak?

Tuesday, June 6 marks the date of the tragic 1889 Great Seattle Fire that burned 25 blocks of downtown waterfront Seattle.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Amtrak won’t use same route until positive train control is used