Amtrak CEO responds to Sunday’s deadly train crash

State - Regional
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(AP) –Amtrak President Richard Anderson says the signal system run by a private railroad was down when one of his passenger trains slammed into the rear of a parked freight train carrying automobiles on a side track in South Carolina, killing two workers.

Anderson said dispatchers at CSX were manually routing trains around 2:45 a.m. Sunday. He says he would defer to National Transportation Safety Board investigators to determine what role that played in the wreck that also sent 116 people to the hospital, most with minor injuries.

Speaking in a phone conference call with reporters, Anderson says the crash of the train heading from New York to Miami shows why the U.S. needs to install GPS-based technology – called positive train control – by year’s end.

The system is in place in the Northeast, but Anderson says private companies who run the tracks Amtrak uses elsewhere have in the past asked for extensions to deadlines.

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