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Amtrak crash 2015: Philadelphia train derailment was avoidable with technical upgrade

Amtrak crash 2015: Philadelphia train derailment was avoidable with technical upgrade

Amtrak crash 2015: Philadelphia train derailment was avoidable with technical upgrade

WASHINGTON: The US national rail service is in shambles. There is no doubt about it. If one thing is certain about the national rail service, it is the fact that in the US it remains the most neglected section as far as transportation is concerned.

The latest Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia shouldn’t amaze many people. The neglected rail network across the US seems to be something from nineteenth century and not belonging to 21st century.

While the railway network in Japan, Germany and in China seem to be going places with trains becoming faster and rail network being made the lifeline for public commuting even for the long distance travels, the rail network in the US seems to be going downhill.

Notwithstanding the latest rail crash that killed as many as seven passengers besides injuring many others, Republican lawmakers were still not ready to increase the allocation for railway network. “It was beneath you,” Representative Mike Simpson, Republican of Idaho, snapped at a Democratic colleague after the funding increase was defeated in a 30-to-21 vote.

AMTRAK accident 2015There are reasons to believe that with improved technology upgrade the latest Amtrak accident could have been avoided. A New York Times report says “With the absence of positive train control, which Amtrak has on parts of its network, Train 188 was not slowed at a curve”.

Democrats are very angry with the refusal to increase the railway funding. Edward G. Rendell, the Democratic former governor of Pennsylvania attacked Republican lawmakers for their stubborn and reckless attitude of denying to increase Amtrak funding. He told the media that an increase of $251 million over the Republican budget of $1.14 billion would have made significant improvement in making rail network more secure. “It is absolutely stunning to me…It shows that ideology trumps reality, and it shows that cowardice reigns in Washington. The callousness and disregard was shockingly contemporaneous”, Rendell said.

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