3 Crashes. 6 Deaths. 2 Months. Are Trains Safe?

NC Train Safety

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- This is the second deadly Amtrak crash within a week.

Last week in Virginia, one person was killed as a train of Congressman were headed for a Republican retreat.

Sunday morning, in South Carolina two Amtrack workers lost their lives.

Leaving a lot of you on our Facebook page asking how safe are trains?

With one deadly crash happening to our North, and one deadly crash happening to our South in just a matter of days, what is going to stop that from happening here? 

We asked Amtrak's CEO.

"We're doing everything in our power to operate a safe and reliable railroad. Safety is the very first riority at Amtrak," said Amtrak CEO, Richard Anderson.

He adds that the recent crashes all had different causes.

But, the most common type of crash is like what happened in Virginia where investigators say a garbage truck crossed the railroad.

We only hear about these incidents every once in a while, but there is a huge number of them happening all the time.

"Train crossing incidents like that -- we have a couple thousand a year in the United States, and it is really important that we make the kind of investments that we should in making our crossings safer," said Anderson.

As for a solution?

There is a technology called "P-T-C" that uses GPS to help avoid these situations. 

This train didn't have P-T-C, but railroad companies are supposed to be installing it -- because the deadline is December 20-18.

Anderson frankly admitted, the fact that P-T-C isn't on trains all across the country, is a problem.

"This has been going on a decade in the United States, and there are a lot of derailments in the industry if you look on the FRA website. We would all be well served to stick to the PTC deadline of 12-31-2018," said Anderson.

Anderson just became Amtrak CEO on January 1, and he says his goal is Amtrak to beat that December deadline for adding the new safety equipment.

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