By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Last week’s fatal derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia has prompted Pennsylvania’s senior senator to push for more safety on passenger rail lines.

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US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) has sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee asking them to fully fund “Positive Train Control,” the technology that can override certain operating errors by the train engineer.

Casey says PTC could have prevented the fatal derailment of Amtrak 188.

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“The Congress should never put any transit agency or any institution like Amtrak in the untenable position of choosing between safety strategies like Positive Train Control, on the one hand, and fixing crumbling bridges or other parts of our infrastructure on the other hand,” he said today.

(US Sen. Bob Casey, in file photo. Credit: CBS)

(US Sen. Bob Casey, in file photo. Credit: CBS)

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Casey says the nation’s passenger rail network needs $2 billion to fully implement PTC nationwide.  Right now, Congress has allocated just $50 million to that end, Casey complains.