Federal Railroad Administration issues emergency order to Amtrak

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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued an emergency order on Thursday that requires Amtrak to take a series of steps to improve safety along the Northeast Corridor (NEC), including implementing Automatic Train Control (ATC) code changes and modifications, adopting other safety procedures at several curve locations and submitting an action plan to FRA outlining additional steps.

The emergency order comes in the wake of the recent deadly derailment of an Amtrak regional train near Philadelphia.

FRA also said it will take additional steps in the coming days and weeks to ensure other corridors are addressing potential speeding issues.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that although the cause of the Amtrak derailment is not yet known, the information the agency does have underscores the need to continue to do all it can to further promote safety along the NEC.

“Today’s action will help prevent similar incidents from occurring on the NEC until Amtrak completes its installation of Positive Train Control later this year,” Foxx said.

The emergency order requires Amtrak to immediately implement a code change to its ATC system near the Frankford Junction curve in Philadelphia. The change would enforce a passenger train speed limit of 50 mph or lower for northbound trains approaching the curve. Amtrak implemented this change prior to the restart of service on Monday.

In addition, Amtrak must survey the NEC to identify each main track curve where there is a reduction of more than 20 mph from the maximum authorized approach speed to that curve for passenger trains and provide a list of each location to the FRA.

Organizations in this story

Federal Railroad Administration 1200 New Jersey Ave SE Washington, DC 20590

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