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Report: Race To Get Federal Tax Dollars Trumped Safety Feature On Amtrak Cascades

Updated on: 2/21/2019

The new rail line connected to the Dec. 18 Amtrak Cascades derailment opened much earlier than anticipated, and without a key safety feature.

A Seattle Times report details how Washington State transportation officials planned to have the new corridor of track completed by 2019. But to “fully collect federal stimulus money,” the project had to be completed by mid-2017. In meeting the aggressive deadline, the track launched without a critical safety feature – known as positive train control – that automatically slows trains and prevents derailments such as the Dec. 18 event in DuPont.

Positive Train Control

In 2008, Congress mandated that PTC be in place in all passenger trains by 2015. Congress delayed that deadline to 2018. The PTC system was on the Amtrak train that derailed in December 2017, but was not activated.

A May 2015 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia that left eight dead and injured more than 200 could have also been prevented by PTC, experts said. PTC has since been activated on that stretch of tracks.

A Philadelphia Enquirer report said that 20 of the 42 passenger and freight rail lines that must have PTC will have it by the end of 2018. But the Enquirer report says it’s doubtful that all those required will have PTC by the deadline.

The Lasting Impact Of A Train Accident

Knowing what kind of compensation you are entitled to after you’ve been hurt in a train accident will help you better understand the value of your injury claim. Your attorney will discuss with you all the ways your injuries might affect your life now and in the future.

The following are a few of the kinds of damages you can recover compensation for after a train accident:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Loss of income, work absences, or potential to earn money in the future
  • Mental stress and cognitive therapy
  • Home accommodations necessary after your injuries
  • Decreased interest in life and activities you once enjoyed

Your attorney will work with your healthcare provider to determine how long your train crash injury will affect you and what types of long-term care you might require.

Consult An Attorney After A Train Accident

Train accidents can be devastating, resulting in deaths, brain damage, loss of limbs and other injuries. Whether you or a family member were involved in a motor vehicle accident with a train or you were on a train that derailed, you may face catastrophic injuries.

Our experienced Washington State injury attorneys have the legal experience necessary to handle complex cases such as these. We can help you recover from your injuries and damages. We will evaluate your situation and help you make the best legal choices in your situation. Call Davis Law Group, P.S., today at (206) 727-4000 to get started.

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.  

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