Curve and emergency brakes played role in Amtrak crash

  • Inward-facing video with audio heard the engineer comment on the speed of the Amtrak train six seconds before it derailed on Monday
  • The Amtrak Cascades train 501 was traveling at 78mph in a 30mph zone
  • It derailed off an overpass near DuPont, killing three and injuring dozens more
  • Technology called positive train control, or PTC, which can automatically slow down a speeding train, wasn't activated
  • This comes on the heels of news that a Washington state government called for the turn the train was traveling on to be eliminated
  • However it was left because of the high cost and speed limit was set at 30mph

By Mary Kekatos For Dailymail.com

Published: 02:07 EST, 23 December 2017 | Updated: 02:07 EST, 23 December 2017

Video aboard the Amtrak train that derailed in Washington state has revealed that the engineer remarked about the train's speed six seconds before it went off the tracks south of Seattle.

An initial review from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Friday that the crew wasn't using personal electronic devices and that the inward-facing video with audio showed it did not appear that the engineer placed the brake handle in the emergency braking mode.

The train was recorded traveling at 78mph – more than double the posted speed limit – when it derailed off an overpass onto Interstate 5 on Monday near DuPont, killing three people and injuring dozens more.

The review comes as The Wall Street Journal reports that the tight curve the train was traveling on was a known risk and that an $11billion Washington state government plan called for it to be removed.

However, it was preserved to keep costs down, according to documents and state officials.

Video aboard the Amtrak train that derailed in Washington state has revealed that the engineer remarked about the train's speed six seconds before it went off the tracks south of Seattle,  (Pictured, the aftermath of the train collision)

Video aboard the Amtrak train that derailed in Washington state has revealed that the engineer remarked about the train's speed six seconds before it went off the tracks south of Seattle, (Pictured, the aftermath of the train collision)

This came on the heels of news that a Washington state government plan called for the turn the train was traveling on (pictured) to be eliminatedThis came on the heels of news that a Washington state government plan called for the turn the train was traveling on (pictured) to be eliminatedHowever, it was left because of the high cost and speed limit was set at 30mph (Pictured, the train on the curve after the crash)However, it was left because of the high cost and speed limit was set at 30mph (Pictured, the train on the curve after the crash)

This came on the heels of news that a Washington state government plan called for the turn the train was traveling on to be eliminated. However, it was left because of the high cost and speed limit was set at 30mph (Pictured, left, the curve before the crash, and right, after)

According to the board, video also showed the engineer applying the brakes, but it does not appear he placed the brake handle in emergency-braking mode.

The video recording ends as the locomotive was tilting and the crew was bracing for impact.

It's unclear why the train was traveling at 78mph in a 30mph zone. Additionally, technology called positive train control, or PTC, which can automatically slow down a speeding train, wasn't activated.

'The locomotive was in the process of getting a system of PTC installed, but it was not yet functional,' NTSB member Bella Dinh-Zarr said.

Another factor determined in the derailment was that the train was traveling at such a speed over a dangerous curve.

It's unclear why the train was traveling at 78mph in a 30mph zone. Additionally, technology called positive train control, or PTC, which can automatically slow down a speeding train, wasn't activated (Pictured, first responders are seen at the scene of the Amtrak crash)It's unclear why the train was traveling at 78mph in a 30mph zone. Additionally, technology called positive train control, or PTC, which can automatically slow down a speeding train, wasn't activated (Pictured, first responders are seen at the scene of the Amtrak crash)

It's unclear why the train was traveling at 78mph in a 30mph zone. Additionally, technology called positive train control, or PTC, which can automatically slow down a speeding train, wasn't activated (Pictured, first responders are seen at the scene of the Amtrak crash)

The train was recorded traveling at 78mph - more than double the posted speed limit -when it derailed off an overpass onto Interstate 5 on Monday near DuPont, killing three people and injuring dozens moreThe train was recorded traveling at 78mph - more than double the posted speed limit -when it derailed off an overpass onto Interstate 5 on Monday near DuPont, killing three people and injuring dozens more

The train was recorded traveling at 78mph – more than double the posted speed limit -when it derailed off an overpass onto Interstate 5 on Monday near DuPont, killing three people and injuring dozens more

Initial railroad plans proposed by the Washington state government called for the turn to be eliminated so trains to safely enter the area at higher speeds, according to the Journal.

However, to do so cost $412million – more than double the bypass project's budget – so authorities decided to leave the curve untouched and instead set the speed limit at 30mph.

The Amtrak Cascades train 501 was on its maiden voyage along the new, faster route through Washington when it reportedly entered the bend at almost 80mph.

Don Anderson, the mayor of nearby Lakewood, told The Seattle Times that he had feared accidents would occur due to the curve and that his city had opposed the new rail line.

'I didn't predict a time, but I did say somebody is going to get killed,' he said. 'I hoped that wasn't right.'

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