Oregon, Washington Lawmakers Want Amtrak Safety Measures Now

A new bill in the United States House of Representatives, sponsored by lawmakers in Oregon and Washington, proposes the federal government give $2.6 billion to railroads to fully install a safety feature by the end of 2018.

READ: Positive Train Control Implementation and Financing Act of 2018

Prompted by the December 2017 derailment of an Amtrak Cascades train in DuPont – a crash that killed three people and injured dozens more – the bill would prohibit Amtrak and other railroads from launching new passenger routes until Positive Train Control is installed on them. The National Transportation Safety Board has already determined that a functioning PTC system would have prevented the DuPont derailment. That train was traveling 78 mph through a 30 mph curve when it went off the tracks.

Congress granted a three-year extension beyond the original 2015 deadline to install PTC. Other companies want another two years, until 2020, to have PTC installed.

According to Amtrak, 51 percent of its trains are equipped with PTC. Amtrak has stated that it will have PTC installed and activated on the Cascades line “during the third quarter of 2018.”

The bill would require Amtrak to issue quarterly progress reports for Amtrak Cascades.

Washington State lawmakers co-sponsoring the bill: Rick Larsen of Everett, Denny Heck of Olympia, Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor, Adam Smith of Bellevue, Pramila Jayapal of Seattle and Suzan DelBene of Medina.

More About The Amtrak Cascades Derailment

Chris Davis
Award-winning personal injury attorney and founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, Washington.
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