Editorial Board

Amtrak's Missing Technology

It could have prevented this week's tragedy.

Technology can keep trains from speeding.

Photographer: NTSBgov via Getty Images

An "absolute, disastrous mess" is how Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter described Tuesday's Amtrak derailment, in which eight passengers were killed and more than 200 injured. And though it will be some time before its causes and consequences are fully assessed, one point is already clear, and one question already imperative: Technology exists to prevent speeding trains. Why wasn't Amtrak using it?

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