WASHINGTON — The Amtrak train that collided with three freight locomotives on Jan. 4 was exceeding its speed limit by 23 m.p.h., and investigators are trying to determine if that aggravated the severity of the accident, officials said Tuesday.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigation, meanwhile, continued to focus on why the engineer of the Conrail locomotives, who also was speeding, apparently did not heed a stop signal until he was almost on top of it, so that the locomotives skidded into the path of the passenger train.
Joseph Nall, a safety board member, said the investigation is concentrated on the "human performance" of the Conrail crew, and that no evidence has surfaced to indicate malfunctioning of either the locomotives' brakes or the track signals.
16th Passenger Dies
The pileup and derailment at a major track junction near Baltimore left 15 people dead. That toll rose to 16 Tuesday, when one of the Amtrak passengers, Connie Barry, 31, of Ridgefield, Conn., died in a hospital.