Amtrak Train #188 Moving at 106 MPH When Engineer Applied Brakes on Curve Regulated at 50 MPH

NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt says the emergency brakes slowed the Amtrak train from 106 mph to 102 mph before the train derailed in Philadelphia.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released preliminary crash information at a press conference in Philadelphia just after 5:00 p.m. Wednesday describing a train that was traveling over 100 MPH in a curved section of track regulated at 50 MPH. The crashed Amtrak train #188 consisted of a locomotive and seven passenger cars. All vehicles left the railroad tracks while making a left-hand turn at the curve in the railroad.

The train left the Penn station at 9:10 p.m. with 243 occupants on board and crashed at 9:21 p.m.

Maximum speed at the crash site is designated at 50 mph through the curve.

Engineer-induced braking was detected by the black box data recorder. When the engineer applied the brakes, the train was traveling approximately 106 mph. The train crash and impact three seconds later stopped data transmission from the black box at a speed of about 102 mph.

The track has been released to Amtrak for rebuilding.

NTSB plans to interview the train crew and passengers.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said it is ‘incredible’ that so many people were able to walk away after an Amtrak train derailed Tuesday night. The death toll climbed to seven with the discovery of another body on Wednesday.


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