Thursday, May 14, 2015

Germanwings in Philadelphia

This does not sound good at all: "NTSB: Amtrak train sped up before crash."
Right before its fatal derailment on Tuesday night, Amtrak Train 188 accelerated significantly as it approached the Frankford Junction curve, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday.
In barely a minute, its speed jumped from 70 m.p.h. to 102 m.p.h. three seconds before the crash, said NTSB member Robert Sumwalt at a news briefing. The speed limit in that area is 50 m.p.h.
This story implausibly says it's "unclear" whether the engineer accelerated manually.  I happen to know a little bit about a train throttle from family experience and it's not unclear at all.  It's not like passing out in your car and mashing the accelerator with your right foot.  All the controls in a train engine are designed to cut off power if the engineer is somehow incapacitated.  The throttle needs to be applied.

No comments: