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Amtrak Details Safety Changes In Letter To WSDOT

Updated on: 2/22/2019

While the investigation into the December 2017 deadly derailment of the Amtrak Cascades continues, officials for the organization have outlined several safety changes.

The Washington State Department of Transportation posted a letter to its website that details an early-January 2018 meeting with Amtrak president and CEO Richard Anderson.

In the letter, Amtrak details its plans to ensure another derailment does not occur.

“We are confident that these actions will enhance the safety of our operations and will lead us to achieve class-leading safety performance over the next several years,” the letter states.

The letter lays out the immediate, mid and long-term safety initiatives. Amtrak has already instituted its short-term strategies, while the Positive Train Control system (PTC) that could have prevented the derailment will be functional on Amtrak Cascades by September 2018.

On Jan. 10, the Washington State House Transportation Committee questioned representatives from Amtrak and WSDOT in Olympia. Officials could not speak specifically about the circumstances of the derailment.

"One thing about tragedies is that you learn from them and we're learning how to ensure they never happen again," said WSDOT Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar.

"Train 506 in Steilacoom this past July and Train 501 in Dupont this December leaves no doubt that Amtrak needs to take serious steps to ensure the safety of our Amtrak Cascades operation," said Amtrak Senior Manager Rob Eaton.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the derailment could last up to two years.

More About The Amtrak Derailment

Chris Davis
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Chris Davis is the founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, WA.
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