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Amtrak and Washington state transportation officials anticipate a positive train control (PTC) system will be installed on the Amtrak Cascades corridor — including the Point Defiance Bypass — prior to the federal Dec. 31 deadline.PTC likely would have prevented the fatal accident that occurred last Dec. 18 on the bypass track in DuPont, Washington, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials have said. Amtrak expects to return rail service to the bypass between Tacoma, Lakewood, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) and DuPont in spring 2019, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) officials reported on the department's website.The schedule allows time for crews to monitor how PTC is working on the current Amtrak Cascades route before passenger-rail service returns to the bypass, WSDOT officials said."Amtrak, Sound Transit and BNSF [Railway Co.] are all working together to ensure PTC is operating seamlessly in the entire Pacific Northwest and they are confident they will meet the Dec. 31, 2018, federal deadline for implementation in our region," they wrote.The schedule also allows time for the National Transportation Safety Board to complete its investigation and issue recommendations related to the derailment in DuPont, WSDOT officials said.On Dec. 18, 2017, an Amtrak Cascades train derailed on a highway overpass in DuPont. Three passengers were killed and dozens of passengers and the crew members were injured. Eight people in highway vehicles below the overpass also were injured. The accident occurred on the first day of a new passenger-rail service along the bypass.
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