Braking too late

The engineer applied full emergency braking power moments before the derailment, slowing the train to 102 mph when the event recorder cut off at 9:21 p.m. Many other areas along the Northeast Corridor have systems that keep trains below safe speeds. NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt said he believed that such a system would’ve prevented this accident.

Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Damage from the crash

When the train derailed, the locomotive broke from the seven passenger cars. The first car was completely destroyed. Below, view photos of the damage inflicted on individual cars after the train derailed.

ENGINE

Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency

Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency

1st Car

Patrick Semansky/AP

Patrick Semansky/AP

2nd car

Bryan Woolston/Reuters

Bryan Woolston/Reuters

Last car

Joseph Kaczmarek/AP

Joseph Kaczmarek/AP

Train 188 speed compared to average train speeds

The dots show the speeds of other trains over three days leading up to the crash.

Sources: National Transportation Safety Board, Amtrak train tracker courtesy of Eric Fischer, Mapbox, staff reports. Landsat imagery via Google Earth, Pictometry Online. Graphic: Bonnie Berkowitz, Patterson Clark, Alberto Cuadra, Todd Lindeman, Denise Lu, Katie Park, Dan Keating and Gene Thorp - The Washington Post.