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Investigators recommend railroad safety steps
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Federal investigators are recommending changes in the wake of a pair of Amtrak derailments--one of them deadly.
The latest happened in Niles in October, when a switch that keeps cars from coming on the main track was reversed.
That sent the train flying off the track near Niles, narrowly missing an empty hopper car in a rail yard by about 20 feet.
Several people were hurt.
Back in February, in western Illinois, an Amtrak train hit a car on the tracks, killing the driver.
At the time of the crash, rail workers had disabled the warning lights and crossing gate.
In both cases, the National Transportation Safety Board says "required safety precautions were not taken by railroad employees during maintenance and repair activities that resulted in one fatality and put hundreds of passengers at risk."
The agency issued recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration in the wake of the derailments.
They include issuing an updated safety advisory about signal system maintenance and jumper wire use, and auditing safety programs to make sure the information is included in employee training.