Driver in Amtrak crash urged safety

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The driver of the Amtrak train that crashed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night had called himself a safety advocate.

In online forums, 32-year-old Brandon Bostian called for stricter railroad safety and feared the US was not doing enough to make rail travel safe.

Mr Bostian has agreed to talk to investigators in the coming days.

Eight people were killed and more than 200 were wounded in the crash on Tuesday.

Investigators said the train sped up from 70mph (113km/h) to over 100mph in the minute before a sharp bend.

Mr Bostian – who was hurt in the crash – has told investigators he did not remember the derailment and did not recall pulling the emergency brake.

Amtrak took responsibility for the deadly accident as rail service remained closed between New York and Philadelphia until at least early next week.

CEO Joseph Boardman said on Thursday that the agency’s goal is to “fully understand what happened and how we can prevent a similar tragedy from happening in the future”.

Mr Bostian will talk to federal safety officials in the next few days
On various posts to Trainorders.com, Mr Bostian lamented Amtrak’s lack of Positive Train Control, which safety expert said could have prevented the crash.

Friends said Mr Bostian talked about trains all the time and always wanted to be a train driver or conductor.

He has worked for Amtrak for nine years and was promoted to a train driver or engineer – as they are known in the US – in 2010.

“He would go on vacation and bring back subway maps…he would talk about the trains instead of the places,” Mr Bostian’s friend Stefanie McGee told the Associated Press.

Others friends said they have “nothing but good things to say about Brandon.”

Mr Bostian changed his profile picture on Facebook to a black box late Monday night.

Friends wrote on his Facebook messages of support.

They wrote they knew he “lived and breathed trains” and that he is a “great person and a great engineer”.

The last wrecked cars were pulled from the scene on Friday and taken away for further examination.

BBC © 2015

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