The Transylvania Times -

Safer Train Travel


February 12, 2018

Train travel has one of the best safety records in the transportation industry. Because of the recent unfortunate accident causing a head-on collision, however, I would like to offer some common sense safety precautions.

My wife and I have had the opportunity to travel on Amtrak and many other trains all over the world. We have admired the special care that our train staff had taken in at least one potentially hazardous situation. That said, I’d like to make two suggestions.

First, I feel coach seats need to face towards the rear of the train rather than the front. Take the previous Sunday’s accident, for example. The train made a very sudden stop; that is, within less than 150 feet, the train decelerated from 50 miles per hour to stopped within a matter of seconds. When we are in motion, the body wants to remain in motion, thus fly around the compartment and into other passengers. When the seats face backwards, the seat back will do an excellent job of stopping your forward motion. Most passengers’ heads sit below the top of the seat back. That would provide additional protection against flying items from the front.

My second suggestion would be to have seat belts available. Passengers would be safer if they wore seat belts, at least at night when they are asleep. I also realize many people would not avail themselves of using a seat belt, but I see it as a worthwhile effort to protect passengers from possible injuries in any crisis event.

Arthur Raynolds

Lake Toxaway


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