The engineer of the Amtrak train that derailed near DuPont, Washington last month says he doesn’t recall seeing the 30 mile per hour advance speed sign two miles ahead of a speed-restrictive curve.
New details released by the the National Transportation Safety Board Thursday revealed more about the last moments on the Amtrak passenger train that derailed on its way to Portland, and the first from the engineer’s perspective.
The engineer of the train, described as a 55-year-old male who was hired by Amtrak in 2004, told NTSB investigators that that he recalls the train was traveling about 79 miles her hour. He said he’d planned to initiate braking about a mile ahead of the 30 mile per hour curve but did not see the advance speed sign.
An initial review of the incident in December found the train’s final recorded speed was 78 mph. The speed limit on the section of the track where the train derailed was 30 mph.
The engineer also told investigators that he was not distracted by the qualifying conductor with him in the train, and that he felt well rested before his shift.
The qualifying conductor, a 48-year-old hired by Amtrak in 2010, said he also felt well rested at the start of his shift. In the final moments of the derailment, the conductor said he heard the engineer mumble something and sensed that the train was becoming “airborne.”