By Lars Larson
Amtrak best start answering some of the tough questions posed by the deadly derailment Monday. Amtrak wants you to believe they’re only doing what’s required under law. Let’s deconstruct that.
The law says Positive Train Control was supposed to be in place two years ago. Except that Amtrak is part of a rail industry group that lobbied congress to keep putting the deadline off for years. You see it’s gonna cost about 15 billion dollars to get it done. And they say the cost to benefit is 20 to 1.
This is the Pinto defense, that it’s cheaper to let a few folks die horribly in train accidents and just pay off the families. This new section of track where the train derailed killing three had 180-million bucks sunk into it, including PTC.
And Wash-DOT told a public hearing in January, quote, ““PTC will go in before we start service,”. Lucky for that state official, David Smelser, he retired last Friday. His co workers owe Americans an explanation, was the promise a lie, or did it get shoved aside when Amtrak, which promised the new service would launch in October, decided to fire up the locomotive anyway, with or without the safety gear and some of its customers are dead or broken.