The National Transportation Safety Board investigation of the Amtrak 188 derailment at Frankford Junction is finished.  "[T]he National Transportation Safety Board, in findings revealed Tuesday morning, has concluded the cause of the crash was far simpler: Investigators believe [engineer Brandon] Bostian was distracted by radio traffic about rocks striking another train at the worst possible moment, leading him to run the train far too fast through a curve and derail."  The report recommends additional safety protocols in order that engineers can communicate on the radio and retain situational awareness.  There are continued calls for technical fixes, including full implementation of positive train control, a redesign of the emergency escape windows (the same feature that makes them easier for passengers to remove them in case the doors are obstructed makes them more likely to pop out when there are sufficient twisting stresses on a carbody, as in a derailment), and once again the powers that be want to look into seat belts on passenger trains, a bureaucratic imposition that would defeat the purpose of a train in the first place.

There's no mention of differences in the handling characteristics of the new electric locomotives.
Perhaps what would be a gentle tweak of the AEM-7 throttle to get to 80 is more like skinning back the ACS-64.  The curve comes up on you a lot faster, and now you're in trouble.  Watch for some additional speed testing of the locomotives.
There's extensive coverage of the report in New York's Times, but no reference to the motive power.

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