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Amtrak service along Point Defiance Bypass resumes years after deadly derailment

Service along the Point Defiance Bypass resumes Thursday after years of delays following the 2017 derailment.

DUPONT, Wash. — Amtrak resumes service Thursday along the Point Defiance Bypass route after years of delays following the deadly 2017 derailment in DuPont.

The Cascades service follows "intensive system testing, crew qualifications, and safety certification in partnership with South Transit and the Washington State Department of Transportation," according to a statement from Amtrak.

The first Amtrak Cascades train leaving Seattle to use the bypass will leave Seattle at 7:22 a.m. 

The bypass is a portion of the Amtrak Cascades route that connects Vancouver, Canada to Eugene, Oregon. The bypass, which stretches from Tacoma to the Nisqually Junction, is intended to cut delays on the Seattle to Portland portion of the route.

RELATED: Amtrak trains crews on railway of deadly 2017 derailment near DuPont

However, use of the bypass was suspended after a train on its first paid passenger run derailed while it was traveling 80 mph in a 30 mph zone. Three people were killed and dozens more were injured. 

The NTSB said the train's engineer lost track of where he was and failed to slow down before a curve. The agency said a series of decisions or inactions by Amtrak as well as state and federal regulators set the engineer up to fail.

In the aftermath, the National Transportation Safety Board released a report on the derailment in which the agency's vice chair described "Titanic-like complacency" among those charged with ensuring operations were safe.

Additionally, a high-ranking Sound Transit safety executive was "removed" after an independent review found the agency didn't follow safety plan procedures. Sound Transit owns the portion of track where the derailment occurred. 

Federal investigators recommended more crew safety training and fully activating positive train control on all passenger rail corridors in the state, including the bypass.

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