Amtrak engineer noted high speed just before crash

The National Transportation Safety Board says the Amtrak engineer involved in Monday’s derailment was not using a cellphone or other personal electronic device at the time of the crash

Amtrak engineer in Washington state train crash was not using cellphone

The GPS-based technology is created to automatically slow or stop trains that are going too fast and can take over control of a train when an engineer is distracted or incapacitated. Initial railroad plans proposed by the Washington state government would have eliminated the turn, allowing trains to safely enter the area at higher speeds, according to the Journal.

Federal investigators trying to determine the cause of the wreck have gathered data from the locomotive's event data recorder as well as inward- and outward-facing train cameras.

Six people injured in Monday's deadly train crash in DuPont are planning to sue Amtrak. "It did not appear the engineer placed the brake handle in emergency-brake mode", according to the NTSB.

The other person inside the cab when the crash happened was in-training conductor who was familiarizing himself with the route.

The engine from an Amtrak train that crashed onto Interstate 5 on Monday, is transported away from the scene, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in DuPont, Wash.

"The engineer's actions were consistent with the application of the locomotive's brakes just before the recording ended".

Adding to the mystery, technology called positive train control, or PTC, which can automatically slow down a speeding train, wasn't activated.

Data the NTSB provided to AP on Wednesday shows the crashes the NTSB says could've been prevented by positive train control have caused 298 deaths, 6,763 injuries and almost $385 million in property damage.

Experts have said it is likely the technology would have prevented Monday's derailment in Washington state.

Congress for years has extended the deadlines for railroads to implement positive train control.

Investigators have also said they are looking into whether the engineer was distracted by a second person in the cab or by something else. The board has not concluded what caused the crash that killed three passengers, among the 85 passengers and crew members.

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