Did the crew, the engineer, and conductor of derailed Amtrak train 501 receive enough training on tracks that had not been used for decades in passenger service?
A lot has been made about the train not having Positive Train Control, which could have automatically slowed the train down from 80 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour as required on the curve where it left the rails. However, other factors could have been at play too.
A former Amtrak conductor questioned whether the crew had been adequately prepared by Amtrak.
Mike Callanan said not only the engineer but the conductors need to know every inch of the route they run, and the National Transportation Safety Board says that familiarization on this stretch was just two weeks before last Monday's derailment.
Callanan and other railroaders said that may not have been enough.
"It's my speculation that two weeks of training was not enough, and maybe nobody knew where they were," Callanan said. "What's it going to take for Amtrak to implement good training and safety measures? Because I got to tell you, safety is on the back burner."