You don’t have to be an National Transportation Safety Board expert to figure out why those two Amtrak workers died in Cayce. It’s simple.
The CSX engine crew members are innocent in that they properly parked and shut down their train on the siding at a proper distance from the switch, and went home.
On the other hand, it looks as though the CSX ground and track workers who were responsible for properly securing the mechanical, hand-thrown switch were in a hurry to quit work on a Saturday night. They placed their padlock on the switch left in the open position, and not in the closed mode that would have allowed safe passage of through traffic on the main line.
Question is, was there a modern electronic indicator on that switch signaling red in the tower that controlled that portion of the line, and if so, why didn’t the tower man notice it? If the switch was not wired to a control tower, it was haste and/or slothful performance by the switchman and his supervisor to properly execute their responsibilities that caused the catastrophic loss of life of the crewmen and the injuries to the passengers.
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