Mr Pfister wrote: ↑Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:32 pm It's become painfully obvious to me that this engineer simply doofused his way off the end of that track. He had one job to do, and that was to not fuck up while driving a fucking train.
It makes no sense to me that a 80-> 30 MPH transition was not something that was front and center in everyone's mind that day.
I've looked at the route for Amtrak 501, and there are several spots along the way where there are what appear to be rather tricky spots where the train would need to slow down, such as the 90 degree bend going into Napavine. Check out the excruciatingly tight bends to get into Union Station in Portland .
I think the engineer was trying to make up time (they left 10 minutes late from Seattle) and figured he could press his luck and get away with it.