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Amtrak's Anderson outlines safety efforts for Oregon, Washington

Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson last week presented a status report to Oregon and Washington state officials on the railroad's plan for responding to last month's deadly derailment of an Amtrak Cascades train near DuPont, Washington. Among its actions and plans, Amtrak is taking the lead in organizing a meeting of key decision-makers involved in implementing positive train control (PTC) in the area where the derailment occurred, Anderson said in a letter to the states officials. Those decision-makers include Amtrak, Sound Transit, host railroads and the Washington and Oregon departments of transportation. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators have said PTC likely would have prevented the train from exceeding the speed limit on the track prior to the derailment. In his letter, Anderson outlined immediate, mid- and long-term actions in response to the accident. Amtrak's immediate actions have included instituting more safety sessions for its employees and the hiring of a new chief safety officer who will report directly to Anderson. Mid-term actions include implementing a PTC system across the entire Amtrak Cascades route "as soon as possible." Long-term actions include implementing a new safety management system at Amtrak based on best practices within the U.S. commercial aviation industry and in compliance with the Federal Railroad Administration's 49 CFR Part 270 System Safety Program regulations.

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