SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The feds are digging for clues into a jarring collision after 27 people were injured while riding the Regional Transit light rail Thursday night.
Investigators with the NTSB arrived Friday to get an up-close look at the train wreck that sent passengers flying.
Twenty-four hours after the crash, investigators are still unsure what went wrong, and audio recordings show nobody seemed to see this crash coming.
Dispatch recordings transmitted by an RT employee on one of the trains in the light rail collision, initially uncertain what he just experienced.
“I think we got into an accident……I’m on train 9…LRV227…multiple people are injured…we need EMS up here…” the RT employee said.
Regional transit has now confirmed a two-car passenger train collided into a test train stopped on the track.
The agency has a dispatch center that monitors train movements to avoid collisions.
“You have a light rail controller who monitors the train tracking via the GPS and reports back where the train movements are to any operators on the system,” RT employee Devra Selenis said.
The Transportation Security Administration awarded RT a gold star for safety following a review earlier this year. RT recently added early warning alarm technology that sends an alert to workers on tracks when trains are close by.
The technology is not related to train control, like “positive train control…” or PTC as its known, which uses GPS technology and ground sensors to determine whether to override the actions of a train operator.
The safety technology is now required by the federal government for heavy rail like Amtrak. It is not required for light rail.
“It’s typically used in heavy rail, passenger rail, a long-distance commuter service,” Selenis said.
As investigators sift through clues to determine what caused this light rail collision. Another challenge is making sure it doesn’t happen again.