Media Advisory: Mineta Transportation Institute experts available to discuss Amtrak crash and possible remedial action

May 14, 2015
San José, CA

The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) has completed numerous research reports related to inter-city rail safety. These include both general and specific information related to possible reasons for the May12, 2015 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia.

“This accident was avoidable if federal law requiring the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) by 2015 had been implemented,” said Rod Diridon, emeritus executive director of MTI. “The Los Angeles MetroLink accident at Chatsworth in 2008 was a wake-up call, killing 25 and injuring 135 passengers. Congress, in 2008, immediately required implementation of PTC by 2015 throughout the nation but allocated minimal funds to accomplish that complex and expensive task. Only MetroLink, which received special appropriations of funding and with strong local determination, may make the 2015 deadline.”

Mr. Diridon is available for interviews related to the general safety, positive train controls, and potential remedial action.

Karen Philbrick, PhD, executive director of MTI, is available for interviews related to operator performance and fatigue.

Both are experts in the related subject matter.


The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) conducts research, education, and information transfer programs regarding surface transportation policy and management issues, especially related to transit. Congress established MTI in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. MTI won national re-designation competitions in 2002, 2006 and 2012. The Institute is funded through the US Department of Transportation, the US Department of Homeland Security, the California Department of Transportation, and public and private grants. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI, the lead institute for the nine-university Mineta National Transit Research Consortium, is affiliated with San Jose (CA) State University’s College of Business.