Amtrak had installed the “Positive Train Control” system on the track where a speeding train fatally crashed Tuesday, but the system was not switched on.
The system could have automatically slowed the Amtrak 188, but instead it jumped the rails, killing 8 people and injuring more than 200.
According to a top congressional aide, Amtrak told the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday that the PTC system was installed along the section of track outside Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, where the crash occurred, but it was not operating.
The aide said Amtrak informed the committee it has encountered delays turning the PTC on throughout its system because of the need to get the bandwidths required to upgrade the radios to a higher MHz, which improves reliability.
Amtrak has worked out a deal with the Federal Communication Commission to get the broader bandwidth either late last year or early this year, an aide said.