Amtrak ordered to expand speed control system at derail site

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By RON TODT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Federal officials have ordered Amtrak to expand use of a speed restriction system in the area of Tuesday’s deadly derailment to northbound trains like the one that went off the rails in Philadelphia at more than 100 mph, killing eight people.

Saturday’s emergency order from the Federal Railroad Administration involves the automatic train control system.

The system notifies the engineer when a train is above the speed limit and automatically applies the brakes if the engineer doesn’t respond. It was already being used for southbound trains approaching the curve where the derailment occurred.

The agency also ordered Amtrak to analyze curves on the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington and install appropriate technology where approach speed is significantly higher than curve speed.

Amtrak has said it plans to install a next-generation system for the entire corridor by year’s end.

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