FRA Orders Amtrak to Review Safety Rules

The Federal Railroad Administration has ordered Amtrak to review its safety standards for work crews after two men were killed after being struck by a train on Sunday 15 miles south of Philadelphia.

The maintenance of way workers were killed when the southbound Palmetto struck a backhoe that was fouling a track.

Amtrak logoThirty of the more than 300 passengers aboard the Palmetto suffered minor injuries, primarily scrapes and bruises.

The train was traveling at 106 mph shortly before the collision and the engineer had just five seconds to apply the brakes, investigators said.

News reports stated that the FRA order issued on Thursday indicates that regulators believe Sunday’s accident would not have occurred if federal regulations had been observed.

The FRA order said Amtrak’s safety review must focus on the effectiveness of communication between work crews and dispatchers as well as examine “cell phone use near and on tracks.”

Regulators also ordered Amtrak to retrain rail workers on basic safety rules.

The FRA directive indicated that Amtrak workers at the site of the accident may not have known that an order taking a track out of service due to a maintenance of way window had been lifted.

Amtrak was ordered by the FRA to reinforce a rule that a track will not be placed back into service until all workers have left the area or been warned about an approaching train.

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