Philadelphia Amtrak Crash: Train Engineer Agrees to Meet With NTSB

ABC News' Karen Travers and David Kerley report from Philadelphia on the investigation into what caused the deadly Amtrak derailment.
8:04 | 05/15/15

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Transcript for Philadelphia Amtrak Crash: Train Engineer Agrees to Meet With NTSB
Breaking right now this exclusive video from Philadelphia showing the Amtrak trains speeding down the tracks topping out. And more than a hundred miles an hour just seconds before that deadly derailment. The NTSB now focusing its investigation on the train's engineer brand in Boston a man who has now agreed to talk with investigators possibly. As early as today this as the first lawsuit is filed by an off duty Amtrak employee. Writing. On that train hi everyone I'm Caroline Costello in New York following the story force in Philadelphia ABC's Karen Travers her. Good evening Carolyn Amtrak officials are working quickly to try and get that rail line back up in service they were out there today working on the tracks and working on the area around it laying down new cement. And tech officials say the goal is to get service restored sometime early next week maybe not Monday but they hope to have it fully up and running between Philadelphia and New York by Tuesday. The last wrecked cars of Amtrak train 188 have been removed from the accident scene and we're seeing the train's final seconds in this closed circuit video obtained by ABC station WP DI. As the train hits that curve a flash as the train derails. 32 year old trainee engineer brand in Bastia as expected to talk to federal officials in the next few days. We want to know his account. Of what he or calls leading into that and into that tragic event and then we can start asking specific questions. But gusties attorney says he sustained a concussion. And has no recollection of what happened leading up to the crash. The NTSB says this accident would not have happened that stretch of trail was equipped with speed control technology. By the end of this year when have positive train control and here it will not happen. Well the investigation continues lawmakers are pointing fingers over the broader issue of Amtrak's funding. On Wednesday house are currently has blocked an effort by Democrats to restore more than 250 million dollars in cuts to Amtrak grants. Republican said the cuts were not to Amtrak's operating costs or safety. But capital improvements that should be the company's financial responsibility. It's not about funding. I'll let the trade was gone twice this breedlove. Adequate funds were there are no money has been cut from rail safety. And Caroline today funeral services were held for Justin's ends there the twenty year old Naval Academy midshipman who was killed in Tuesday's accident. Amtrak is said they will help the families of all of the victims with funeral expenses Caroline. Her case is Karen Travers live for us from Philadelphia thank you sound. Much less training ABC's David Crowley now also in Philadelphia forced been following this story David let's talk about that train's engineer I know you've reported. That he could speak with NTSB investigators as early as today. It's most likely that he may have his first interview. Today it will not be the final interview his attorney has said he suffered a concussion and he doesn't have. A clear memory of everything that happened he said he didn't know why the train was going that speed. Does remember coming into the curb trying to throw on the break so I would be surprised if the initial interview is today. Of the question of whether or not he's remembered anything in the past couple of days. Since that derailment and a tragic deaths that occurred behind us here. Let's talk about positive train control and we've been hearing a lot about do we know why this particular stretch of track. Was not covered this is one of the only gaps between Wilmington Delaware. And Trenton, New Jersey an area that goes right through a major US city why wasn't it cut. Amtrak like all rail systems are mandated to have positive train control installed by the end of this year. Anthrax that it was working on that on that system and was going to have it actually has said it will happen now by the end of this year. It's it's a two prong system uses GPS users computers the train has to be able to talk to this system. And the system and the rails that you send data. This engine is only a year old it's the highest technology and interrupted Amtrak it did have the system inside. The cab of that engine. But this piece of rail does not house. Positive train control but as I mentioned this to you told me yesterday it will have a by the end of this year. The reason why. These things take time no excuses from Amtrak. In the long run about it they said they'd been working on it and we're making progress to getting to having the entire court or which are there rails. These are Amtrak. Tracks that they are outfitted with positive train control that does it mean that just because the northeast quarter Abbott at the end of the year. It all Amtrak trains traveling in this country we'll have positive train. So even my understanding is it was installed but it wasn't turned on is that because of CP testing that was going on. You know Amtrak is said that they were months away from installing the system gave its system up and running. It really the point is it wasn't working here. If it had been working here at this would not have absolutely and there is a brand new engine we know on this train what's the questions is that race. It's not really necessarily a lot unless there was an equipment failure or a failure with. The train what why did it go in a seven mile an hour zone from seventy down under in six miles an hour. That still is the question that we don't have answers we know what happened we don't know why that train got to that speed because it couldn't take this corner. Amtrak engineers believe may be at eighty miles an hour train to get around that corner but not at a 106 so it's still a question of why did that train go from. Seventy to a 106 was an operator error was of equipment there we don't know. OK if all the mechanical issues or any issue mechanics can be ruled out then what are the factors that the NTSB then focus on if they can't rule out. Mechanical failures. Well the it is like this is like a plane investigation a plane crash investigation they look at everything. They're going to look at the signals. Along the rail line they're gonna look at the breaks in the train they're going to look at all the human factors. The engineers training. His sleep patterns of the week before what he had done that day all those things are part of the investigation by the NTSB they really trying to leave no leave. And turned in the investigation. And at this point do we know anything about this engineers work schedule. How often had he traveled this route didn't do it regularly what about fifteen at his gavel changed. That's information that we don't have yet it's all part of what the NTSB will be looking at. You know could it have been fatigue city of fall asleep but he had a medical issue you know as attorney says he has no history of medical issues that doesn't mean he didn't have a medically. That's why in these investigations. You can never say. It looks like this or looks like that there's so many factors and usually in these crashes. Especially aircraft crashes it's a series of things that go wrong and we don't really know. What happened here other than the fact that this crane was going twice the speed limit for that corner this behind us. In a situation like this what would be grounds for prosecutors to file criminal charges against the end here. I'm not a lawyer but there are possibilities and it has happened in the past where there is gross negligence. If there is intent. They're certainly is the possibility for that but it all depends on what happens that this investigation. And what the NTSB learns that the none of that would come from the NTSB they will issue their report there are also parallel investigations going on at the same time. By other entities federal and local and state as well. Her name's Stephen Crowley reporting for us from Philadelphia David thank you so much really appreciate it you bet. You can keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news app and storing the story for exclusive updates. On the talent Caroline Costello. In New York. Tonight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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