Part One: Critical Amtrak Cascades Disaster Questions

Questions About Human Performance Factors

These questions about how human performance factors that may have contributed to the Amtrak Cascades derailment disaster are critical to potential legal claims.  

  • Was there one engineer or a two-person engineering crew in the lead cab?
  • Was the engineer somehow incapacitated moments before the accident? 
  • Did the train engineer experience a medical event that prevented him/her from properly controlling the locomotive?
  • Was the engineer impaired in any way by alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or any other type of impairment?
  • Is there any evidence of cell phone use by the engineer during the trip and/or before the accident?
  • Does Amtrak Cascades have a policy banning the use of distracting electronic devices by crew members?
  • Was the engineer actively operating the train at the time of the accident?
  • Was the engineer's attention diverted for some reason before or during the accident?  What was his situational awareness?
  • Did the Amtrak engineer accelerate the train without slowing to successfully negotiate the turn? 
  • How much training had the engineer received for this model locomotive?
  • Had the engineer driven this new route before today?   If so, how many hours of operational experience?
  • Did the engineer have any training on preventative measures to avoid speed-related accidents?
  • When was the last time the engineer attended any safety refresher courses?
  • Were all Amtrak Cascades employees properly trained as defined by the Amtrak Service Standards Manual for Train Service and On-Board Service Employees?  
  • Did all crew receive the required Emergency Preparedness Training?
  • Had all tenured crew complete their refresher training prior to the end of every two-year period? 
  • Prior to departure, did the operator perform a cab check and a functional brake system check? 
  • Did the operator perform an inspection of the cab lights, gauges and system indicators prior to departure?
  • Did the operator verify that all bypass and cut-out switches were in the normal position and property sealed?
  • Did the operator apply the emergency braking device?
  • How often do supervisors conduct spot checks to ensure that all policies and procedures were being followed?

For more detailed information about the disaster, read AMTRAK CASCADES DERAILMENT DISASTER: A Legal Guide For Accident Victims/Survivors by the Amtrak train accident attorney team at Davis Law Group.  

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