COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into a deadly 2018 Amtrak crash in South Carolina (all times local):
CSX is agreeing with federal officials who say the company and one of its train crews were responsible for an Amtrak crash that killed two people and hurt nearly 100 passengers in South Carolina in 2018.
CSX spokeswoman Cindy Schild says the company’s rules and procedures were not followed when a CSX crew parked a train on a side track near Columbia and then didn’t flip a switch to move the tracks back to the main line.
The Amtrak train then went down that side track at full speed and hit the parked train head on.
Schild said in a statement that CSX changed some of its safety procedures and in the first half of 2019 recorded the fewest train accidents over a six month period in its history.
Federal safety officials say the failure to fully implement a train safety system delayed seven times in the past decade contributed to a wreck in South Carolina that killed two Amtrak crew members and injured almost 100 passengers.
National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said Tuesday the irony of the February 2018 train wreck near Columbia was it happened as crews were installing that safety system called Positive Train Control.
To install the system, workers had to turn off safety signals that indicate whether train tracks have been turned off the main line.
The NTSB on Tuesday put the main cause of the crash on CSX. They say the company didn’t have a proper safety plan for the signals being down on its track and its workers failed to follow steps to make sure to flip the track back to the main line before the Amtrak train passed through.
The National Transportation Safety Board says train crashes caused by switches being in the wrong place continue even though they have simple fixes.
The NTSB is meeting Tuesday to discuss what changes to train safety rules should be made because of a crash in South Carolina that killed two Amtrak crew members and injured nearly 100 passengers in February 2018.
Investigators say the Amtrak train ran off the main track at full speed onto a side track and slammed into a parked train near Columbia because the parked train crew left the switch in the wrong location. Safety signals in the area weren’t working because they were being upgraded.
NTSB is considering requirements on better training and slower train speeds when signals are out.
Federal officials are meeting to discuss what caused an Amtrak train to divert onto a side track in South Carolina last year and slam into a parked train, killing two crew members and injuring more than 100 passengers.
The National Transportation Safety Board is meeting Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
The board already determined that railway signals that would have warned the Amtrak train to stop were out because crews were installing an advanced safety system that would automatically halt the passenger train before it headed down a side track.
A CSX train crew had parked its train on the side track near Cayce a few minutes before the Amtrak roared down on it at about 50 mph (80 kph) on Feb. 4, 2018.