Photo Credit: BravoKiloVideo / Shutterstock.com
A train derailment in Washington which killed several people and has left dozens still in the hospital has reopened a review about sight infrastructure and safety. Trump jumped into the review about the sight derailment around Twitter. Before even mentioning those who died or were injured, he tweeted:
The sight collision that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows some-more than ever because a shortly to be submitted infrastructure devise must be authorized quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while a roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) Dec 18, 20171
The irony of Trump’s twitter though, is that his bill offer actually calls for cuts to travel infrastructure, as publisher Phil Elliot forked out:
The President’s bill ask on trains was described thusly: “a scarcely 13 percent rebate in travel spending over mercantile 2017 … and a $630 million rebate in subsidies for long-distance Amtrak routes.” https://t.co/0TS3YGG6od https://t.co/7oxxp9LEXa
— Phil Elliott (@Philip_Elliott) Dec 18, 2017
Amtrak Cascades 501 (the sight that crashed) likely wouldn’t be influenced by these bill cuts, since, as Amtrak told ABC, the track is not “classified as long-distance.” This creates Trump’s twitter even some-more nonsensical, and casts it as a clearly opportunistic domestic pierce to pull for his due cuts. As the Washington Post reported in May, subsidies for long-distance Amtrak paths would be hit hard, as would income for new construction.
With all eyes on questions over movement spending and safety, the Washington derailment opens a incomparable review about investment into infrastructure, quite reserve measures. As an review into Monday’s pile-up is ongoing, two contributing factors embody the speed the sight was roving (an estimated 50 mph above the limit), as good as the deficiency of the reserve magnitude Positive Train Control, or PTC.
According to CNN, PTC “can automatically delayed down and stop a sight if it senses the locomotive is going too quick or could get into an accident.” PTC was set-up on partial of the marks that the Amtrak sight was roving on, but was not functioning yet, according to the company that owns these tracks. As CNN reported, the start date for PTC operations on this shred was between Apr 1 and Jun 30 of 2018.
The Washington derailment isn’t the first time PTC has come up in tie to sight crashes. The discuss over designation and cost of PTC was lighted in 2008 following the death of 25 in California. Though the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 mandated the doing of PTC by the finish of 2015, this approve date has been changed to the finish of 2018, and has the probability of exceptions done to approve by 2020. If Trump really wanted to forestall some-more crashes like the one in Washington, he would support full, evident doing of the Rail Safety Improvement Act—not offer cuts to Amtrak.
The cost of installing PTC has slowed the process, but sight derailments and accidents have continued to start given 2008. In addition, supervision cuts have been done to Amtrak’s bill even after sight crashes. As Politico reported in 2015, almost 20 percent of Amtrak’s bill was cut the day after eight people died in a Philadelphia derailment. Though PTC was implemented in the sight in doubt in Philadelphia, it had not been commissioned on the tracks. The record must be benefaction and handling in both.
The United States is struggling in how to actually return to an age of high-functioning trains that offer people’s needs while transporting them safely. As Jon Worth argued in Politico shortly after the Philadelphia crash, looking at a European sight indication shows that things like PTC and a fast and transparent source of appropriation is needed in achieving this goal.
Emily C. Bell is a news author at AlterNet.