The Latest on Amtrak crash: Feds say Amtrak given go-ahead

AP News
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Posted: May 17, 2015 8:59 PM
The Latest on Amtrak crash: Feds say Amtrak given go-ahead

8:30 p.m.

The Federal Railroad Administration says Amtrak has clearance to resume full service Monday along the Northeast Corridor, the busiest passenger line in the country.

The agency directed Amtrak to immediately expand speed control measures to the northbound tracks after a speeding train from Washington, D.C., to New York headed into a curve Tuesday, flew off the tracks and crashed, killing eight people and injuring more than 200.

The Railroad Administration says in a statement Sunday that Amtrak has met the agency's terms to prevent speeding at the crash site and has analyzed "the most significant curves" along the corridor. The federal agency says Amtrak also has begun work to identify any need for additional maximum-speed signs.

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7:30 p.m.

As Amtrak plans to resume services Monday on its Northeast Corridor, top officials are promising the trains and the tracks will be safer because of changes made since last week's deadly passenger train derailment in Philadelphia.

Speaking at the crash site during a Sunday event to honor the victims, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Amtrak has installed new technology that will monitor and correct train speeds, posted new speed limit signs and begun a study of potentially dangerous curves.

Foxx says the response is one way to honor the eight people who were killed in the crash. Mayor Michael Nutter read their names as a bell tolled and eight doves were released.

Amtrak President Joseph Boardman said: "We'll open with service tomorrow morning, a safer service."

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6 p.m.

A close friend of the engineer in Philadelphia's deadly train derailment last week says news that something might have struck Brandon Bostian's train windshield just before the crash "is verification this was not his fault."

James Weir of Burlison, Tennessee, insisted in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Sunday that Bostian is extremely safety conscious.

"He's the one you'd want to be your engineer. There's none safer," Weir said.

Weir says he and his wife plan to go to Philadelphia sometime this week to visit Bostian, who Weir describes as "like a brother to me."

Bostian was among some 200 people injured in the crash; eight people were killed. Investigators are looking into the train's speed of 106 mph in a 50-mph zone before it derailed. They also are investigating the cracked windshield and whether the blow somehow figured into the accident.

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5:10 p.m.

Amtrak says it will restore full operations along the busy Northeast Corridor early Monday morning following the deadly train derailment in Philadelphia.

Amtrak president Joseph Boardman says in a statement Sunday that repairs were made with passenger safety in mind and "complete compliance" with the directives of federal regulators.

The Federal Railroad Administration on Saturday ordered Amtrak to expand use of a speed-control system long in effect for southbound trains near the crash site to northbound trains. The company was also ordered to look at all curves on the Northeast Corridor for safety and increase speed limit signs.

Meanwhile, investigators are trying to determine the reason for the train's acceleration and sorting through conflicting reports about an object striking its windshield. The derailment Tuesday killed eight people and injured more than 200 others.