Following the deadly accident last week near Philadelphia, Amtrak installed a braking system on the section of track that could’ve prevented the derailment. The automatic train control system (ATC) keeps tabs on a train’s speed as it heads toward curves, automatically adjusting it if the conductor fails to do so.
ATC was already used for southbound trains in this spot, but not for those headed northbound like the one that derailed last Tuesday. In addition to the ATC, Amtrak is working to equip trains with a Positive Train Control system (PTC) which uses the ATC to further automate trains while avoiding collisions, maintaining safe speeds and providing safer conditions for work crews. Amtrak plans to have the PTC in place by the end of the year. The Federal Rail Administration announced today that Amtrak had completed all of its requirements to resume service along the Northeast Corridor between Washington, DC and Boston, and that the train company would continue to evaluate other curves along the route.