Amtrak engineer noticed train was ‘over speed’ mere seconds before it derailed

Click to play video: 'Amtrak train wreckage cleared from accident site'
Amtrak train wreckage cleared from accident site
Dec. 19: Crews worked throughout the early morning hours clearing mangled train cars from a highway in Washington state after a deadly Amtrak train derailment Monday – Dec 19, 2017

Only six seconds separated an engineer noting an “over speed” condition for a Portland-bound Amtrak train and its derailment in DuPont, Wash. on Monday.

That’s according to an initial review of the train’s recorders by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Coverage of Amtrak derailment on

Story continues below advertisement

The review looked at the event data recorder and the inward- and outward-facing cameras on the Amtrak Cascades passenger train 501 after it derailed.

Inward-facing video captured both the crew’s actions and conversations, while forward-facing video recorded anything in front of the train, as well as any sounds outside.

The review found that, about six seconds before Monday’s derailment, an engineer made the comment about an “over speed condition” — the NTSB would not confirm to Global News whether this meant the train was going too fast.

READ MORE: 3 killed as Amtrak train derails south of Seattle; was travelling at 80 mph in a 30 zone, says NTSB

The NTSB said the engineer’s actions were “consistent with the application of the locomotive’s brakes just before the recording ended.

“It did not appear the engineer placed the brake handle in emergency-braking mode.”

This recording ended when the train was tilting, and as the crew braced for impact, the NTSB added.

The Amtrak’s final recorded speed was 78 mph (125 km/h). The NTSB previously said the train was travelling at 80 mph (128.7 km/h) in a 30 mph zone (48 km/h).

The authority expects a preliminary report into the derailment to be released in the coming days.


Sponsored content