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Track Technology Installed in Wake of Deadly South Carolina Train Crash

February 06, 2019

CAYCE, SC. – As reported online in a news story from, new technology has been installed on a set of Amtrak tracks in the wake of a deadly train crash that occurred in 2018 in Cayce, South Carolina. The technology could have prevented the crash in 2018, officials say.

On February 4, 2018, an Amtrak train carrying passengers through Cayce crashed into an engine that was stopped on the tracks. Numerous cars derailed and crumpled into a V-shape, smashing the conductor car that was turned onto its side. The engine was completely wrecked. 

Two people were killed and 100 were injured. The victims who lost their lives, a 54-year-old man from Georgia and a 36-year-old man from Florida, were both employees of Amtrak.

Investigation found that the crash was related to a switch that was out of position and caused the train to move onto a track where the engine was sitting and undergoing maintenance. An alert that could have notified operators of the issue had also been disengaged by the workers who were servicing the engine. 

Close to the one-year anniversary of the tragic crash, new technology has been installed on the tracks that would have avoided the wreck. The technology, called Positive Train Control (PTC), is now in operation on all major South Carolina tracks. PTC can slow or stop a train in the event of an emergency, kind of like automatic braking systems on a motor vehicles. At the time of the crash, the technology was beginning installation. 

“A fully operational Positive Train Control system could have avoided this accident,” Robert Sumwalt, chairman of NTSB, said of the South Carolina crash. “That is what it is designed to do.” 

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Category: Personal Injury

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