America’s railroad blues are self-inflicted wounds

By Jon Talton, Columnist, The Seattle Times; February 10, 2018

From the Dec. 18th derailment of Amtrak Cascades 501 to the South Carolina collision between Amtrak’s Silver Star and a standing freight train earlier this month, train safety has assumed a prominent spot in a nation not lacking for news.

A sleeper story here is the stunningly low death toll: five total in both wrecks. Similarly, in the 2015 derailment of an Amtrak regional express in Philadelphia, eight died out of 238 passengers and five crew. That’s a testament to luck, but also to increasingly safe construction of railcars, along with better training and practices.

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