U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, issued the following statement after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) voted to approve its final report on the investigation into the 2017 Amtrak derailment in DuPont, Washington.
“The NTSB performed a thorough, independent investigation, and the final report will help guide our bipartisan efforts to improve passenger rail safety. Positive Train Control should have prevented this accident. Congress should work to make sure PTC is implemented as soon as possible. But until it is implemented, we need safety and situational awareness prioritized across our passenger rail system.”
Senator Cantwell has been a consistent advocate for increasing accountability and investments in rail safety in the United States. In 2018, Cantwell called for a comprehensive update from the Federal Railroad Administration on the nationwide implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) safety technology, and in 2017, she demanded railroads be held accountable for PTC implementation. When the Senate considered the DRIVE Act in 2015, Cantwell expressed concern that the bill would delay PTC implementation and roll back safety protections.