Amtrak trains have been tracking the tracks on their way to and from San Francisco since the 1950s, and the latest tracking data is proving a valuable tool for officials looking to identify the cause of derailments.
In a new study released Tuesday, researchers found that trains are moving at nearly the same speed as they were on Dec. 2 when the accident happened in California.
In an interview with NBC News, the lead author of the study, Kevin Buell, said Amtrak tracks have been in use since the 1940s, but that the tracking systems were never designed to keep up with the speed of trains.
Buell said that the speed at which Amtrak trains travel on the tracks was determined in the early 1970s when Amtrak used its own track speed to estimate where they were going.
The new study shows the tracks moved at roughly the same rate for a week after the derailment.
The tracks had been set up with sensors that tracked the track speed and then a digital clock showed the speed over the next few days.
Boeing’s internal testing showed that the tracks were moving at the same speeds as the ones on Dec 2, BueLL said.
Buesll said it is still unclear why the tracks didn’t move after the accident.
Amtrak said it has no plans to move the tracks, but officials are taking the situation seriously and working with the Federal Transit Administration to determine what steps are needed.
The train system is one of Amtrak’s main sources of revenue.
The system runs trains from Chicago to Philadelphia, and in some cases, trains from San Antonio to Pittsburgh.
In the past few years, Amtrak has been facing more and more accidents, which has prompted the agency to overhaul its systems.
The changes are expected to save $5 billion a year and prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries, according to the company.