By Lars Larson
At least 3 people died in yesterday’s train derailment near Tacoma and the government agency Amtrak made it happen.
Let me to explain.
9 years ago the congress wrote into law that every train, passenger or freight, had to be under Positive Train Control by 2015. The NTSB says it has advocated for the system for the last 45 years. Yet most of America and most of the trains still don’t have it today.
Taxpayers put 180-million dollars into the section of track where the deadly derailment happened, and it has PTC. Yet Amtrak didn’t plan to turn on the system on its train till sometime next year. So, Amtrak allowed a human operator to drive that train through a section of track limited to 30 miles an hour at 81 miles an hour. If you want to know why Amtrak hasn’t had the system that’s required by law, here’s a hint. Last year, the government agency lost a quarter of a billion dollars, and that’s the smallest loss in years.
By the way, you CAN sue Amtrak but its liability is limited, by law, and Amtrak follows THAT law.