Too Little, Too Late

Too Little, Too Late

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has ordered Amtrak to retrain its rail workers on basic safety rules following the crash in early April that killed two people and injured at least 30 others in Chester, Pa. It was Amtrak's second fatal accident in the Philadelphia region in less than a year. Seven were killed and at least 140 were injured in the earlier derailment in North Philadelphia last May.

The Amtrak workers were killed in the Chester accident when the train slammed into a backhoe that was on the tracks. Both were veteran Amtrak employees. The FRA's mandate suggests that the Amtrak workers may not have known the track was being reopened to train traffic and were unaware of the approaching train.

The FRA directive orders Amtrak to reinforce the rule that a track will not be reopened until all workers have either left the area or been warned about an approaching train.