SACRAMENTO (CBS) – The devastating train wreck in Washington has ties to California and Sacramento.
The new, high-speed rail train had only been in Washington State for less than six months when it went off the tracks.
According to a Siemens spokesperson, the locomotive was built at their mobility plant in Sacramento.
“This is becoming a major hub for advanced manufacturing particularly of transit vehicles,” said Rep. Dorris Matsui, during a tour of the facility in 2016.
The Washington Department of Transportation purchased eight of the high-speed trains to move along their Cascades corridor.
Siemens also manufactured 175 light rail cars for San Francisco’s Municipal transit system in recent years.
The locomotives are more efficient, can travel at higher speeds, and are equipped with a safety feature called “positive train control,” the former head of the NTSB Deborah Hersman explains.
“Positive train control is GPS-based technology that knows if trains are going to collide with one another or if trains are speeding over what is permitted in that section of track,” said Hersman, “so it keeps the train from potentially derailing if they go too fast for conditions.”
The technology was mandated to be installed on all trains following the death of 17 people when a freight train collided with a commuter train in southern California in 2008. But Congress delayed the mandated installation for three years until 2018. The extension was a compromise between the House and Senate that was signed into law by then-President Barak Obama.
“It’s really too early to tell if positive train control could have prevented this derailment because we don’t know what caused the derailment,” said Hersman.