The Amtrak 188 crash has brought forward news questions about the city and nation's infrastructure and safety. On Thursday, Philly.com's Diana Lind hosted a conversation with Robert Puentes, infrastructure expert and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Jim Saksa, transportation reporter for PlanPhilly, to learn more about the crash, Amtrak and the city's rail network.
The conversation began with a discussion of the facts and the investigation underway.
Amtrak is a public-private company, primarily funded by the federal government. But funding is insufficient. Here, the experts discuss whether additional funding could prevent such a tragedy in the future.
The train crash could potentially have been prevented if a technology called Positive Train Control (PTC) was used, but Amtrak had yet to install PTC on this section of track before the crash.
Oil tankers were located just yards from the site of Amtrak 188's crash. Luckily the tankers were empty, and the crash avoided them anyway, but the proximity of oil to infrastructure begs the question of whether the city is prepared for a potential collision between passenger trains and oil freight.
Finally, Saksa and Puentes discuss whether there are lessons to be learned to from this tragedy.