Thorough look at rail safety overdue after string of tragedies

Two crew members were killed recently when an Amtrak passenger train on the wrong track crashed into a line of freight cars. More than 100 people were injured in the accident, which occurred in South Carolina.

Rail accidents seem to have become a regular occurrence.

This was the third fatal Amtrak crash in two months.

Traveling and transporting freight by train ought to be a reasonably safe thing.

Trains run on tracks, after all.

Positioning technology ought to keep them away from hazards.

Speed-control equipment should prevent accidents from engineers going too fast.

But accidents for all these reasons have been reported during the past year.

Clearly, a comprehensive look at rail safety is needed.

The industry should welcome it.

It is an industry with great future potential. It is at least a partial answer to the daily, fossil-injected clutter on our highways, particularly in urban areas. But all that potential might as well be flushed down a toilet drain if the perception is that rail travel is unsafe.

Passengers and shippers should demand such a comprehensive look.

Surely, some way of avoiding frequent rail accidents can be found.