Published: May 15, 2015

Railroad technology could have stopped Amtrak crash

Contact(s): Steven Ditmeyer Railway Management Program office: 703.768.5540, Andy Henion Media Communications office: (517) 355-3294 cell: (517) 281-6949

An MSU scholar and former federal railroad official says positive train control technology could have stopped the Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia.

Steven Ditmeyer, adjunct professor of railway management, said the speed control technology would have automatically slowed the speeding train before it crashed May 12.

Congress in 2008 mandated positive train technology be installed throughout the rail system by the end of this year. The technology was not installed on the section of track in Philadelphia where the derailment occurred, killing at least eight people.

Ditmeyer is former director of research and development at the Federal Railroad Administration and a leading authority on positive train technology. He can be reached at (703) 768-5540 or


What people are saying: from around the web

Steven Ditmeyer, adjunct professor of railway management at Michigan State University. Contributed photo

Our Commitment: Healing Assistant Fund - National organizations selected to oversee fund for counseling and services