My prayers go out to everyone and their families involved in this accident especially the one's who lost their lives. It seems there has been quite a few train accidents lately and I have a feeling most of them come down to money and the inability of many companies to maintain their systems adequately like they did in the past, not to mention the age of much of the rail in this country. The thing that really sucks is the government won't get involved unless their is a high loss of life as every government has set numbers that they consider acceptable losses, that is why for example a community may be up in arms about a dangerous intersection or stretch of road where there is a numerous amount of accidents and the citizens are wondering why the city don't put lights at the intersection. It usually takes two things for the city to make changes, the first is the voters make it clear if the city don't do anything to fix the problem the officials won't have a job come next election cycle. The second is when the numbers exceed acceptable losses, and that number can be different in each community and how they come up with these numbers usually has something to do with money.
It will be the same in the rail accidents, until the losses surpass that number they will allow the corporation that operates the line to police and try to make fixes to the system themselves until that number is reached. Don't misunderstand that number either, it's not usually a fixed number total, for example it's not a number where they say OK once 300 people did in at this intersection we will put lights, it's usually a yearly or one time accident total. For example if 10 people die in accidents this year, we will have to put lights up there, or if say a school bus gets wiped out.
If you are wondering where a system like this comes from all you have to to do is look at the military, most new equipment and combat methods are usually developed once numbers go beyond acceptable losses. World War I was a major turn around for military forces around the world, prior to that the primary means of combat was infantry charge, where they would line up a large number of soldiers on both sides who would charge head on into each other with single shot rifles and bayonets and commanders relied on the sheer number of soldiers to win just as the soldiers relied on the sheer numbers for their comrades to survive. When World War 1 began weapons such as machine guns and poison gas had been invented which resulted in high casualty numbers, and that is what brought on the new inventions meant for war, such as the tank and armored vehicles and the simple metal helmet.
10News - Four people dead, 63 injured in New York City train derailment - 10News.com - News