The National Transportation Safety Board held a news conference this afternoon to provide updated information on the crash between the southbound Amtrak train and the CSX Train on the siding in Cayce, SC.
The investigation by NTSB has begun. The forward facing video camera system from the Amtrak train has been recovered, and is in Washington being analysied. The event recorders from both trains are still being searched for. Those event recorders are commonally called the black boxes.
It was confirmed that the switch at the junction with the mainline was “lined and locked” which means that when the conductor manually aligns the track to the desired path, it is then padlocked. The NTSB have confirmed that switch was aligned to direct traffic to the siding, and was padlocked. The Amtrak train traveled on to the siding and collided with the CSX train on the siding.
The Amtrak train consisted of 1 locomotive and 7 passenger cars and a crew of 9. The CSX train consisted of 2 locomotives and 34 empty car racks. The Track is owned and operated by CSX. The speed limit on the straight path through this section of tracks is 59 miles per hour. This speed limit would be greatly reduced if a train was going onto the siding.
It is unknown at this point if the Amtrak train had applied brakes or at what speed it was traveling. Data such as that will be known when the event recorders have been located and examined. The NTSB is here to gather the evidence and conduct interviews. The possible causes will be released after all of that information has been reviewed.