Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015 - 1

From the Editor
Summer 2015

The tragic derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia in May is a costly reminder of the enormous
burden of responsibility that the transportation sector carries on its shoulders.
As investigators work to sift through the evidence and locate
the precise point at which the system broke down, it's clear
at least initially that this particular accident could have been
prevented and the toll in human lives avoided. Whether the
derailment was caused by equipment failure, human error or
a combination of both, the transportation and logistics sector
needs to remember that vigilance in all areas of operations is
the key to avoiding such tragedies.
In the days following the derailment that left eight people
dead and numerous others injured, the NTSB released a statement pointing out that the stretch of track where the train derailed had not been equipped with positive train control (PTC)
technology, which could have slowed the train automatically.
It is estimated that the train was traveling at speeds in excess
of 100 miles per hour, more than double the speed limit for the
curve on which it was traveling.
Train systems across the country have been under federal

mandate to install PTC on tracks since 2008, but the complexity of the technology and the cost involved to install it have
made the implementation incredibly slow.
Without automated technology to provide a safety net of
sorts, the ultimate responsibility will almost always fall on
the human operator, and as of a few days after the accident,
it was still unclear what role the train's engineer played.
According to reports, the engineer had no record of accidents
prior to the May 12 derailment, and his lawyer told CNN
that a blood test found no evidence of drug or alcohol use.
Although the role human error played in this particular crash
is still unclear, it underscores the importance of making sure
drivers and operators are fully trained and well-versed in
safety procedures.
No doubt there will be painful lessons to be learned from this
incident, and the entire industry will need to heed them or else
be doomed to repeat history.

Chris Petersen
SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR

Chris.Petersen@phoenixmediacorp.com

SUMMER 2015 TLIMAGAZINE.COM

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http://www.TLIMAGAZINE.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015

Contents
Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015 - Cover1
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Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015 - Cover3
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