Letters to the Editor

Amtrak crash shouldn't be blamed on politics

A May 14 front-page sidebar article by Curtis Tate relating to the Amtrak crash in Philadelphia was pure bunk - left-wing propaganda aimed at blaming Republican members of Congress for the fatal event rather than the train operator, who was exceeding the speed limit for the track sector by more than 100 percent at the time of the wreck.

The article's premise presumes that the accident would not have occurred had a technology that would have slowed the train from 106 mph to 50 mph, automatically, been installed for that particular sector of track. Mr. Tate then blames the Republican-controlled congress for cuts and delays in funding Amtrak for the fact that the automatic system was not in place at the time of the article.

Mr. Tate's premise is speculative and the blame misplaced. The article ignores completely the primary cause of the accident - that the train was traveling more than twice the safe speed of 50 mph when it entered the bend on which it derailed. Operator error or an anomaly that prevented the train from being slowed is the cause of the accident, not absence of Positive Train Control (PTC). Neither is the absence of PTC the fault of the Republican-controlled congress. PTC was approved and funded for the sector of track where the accident occurred by a previous congress. If there is blame for the delay in installing the system, it ought to be placed at the feet of an inefficient Amtrak bureaucracy run by an Obama appointee.

Lowell E. Peterson