I live within 25 miles of this accident, and use to drive that section of freeway everyday. The most recent reporting is that training was occuring at the time, and its possible the senior conductor was distracted by the training issues. Also, he might not have aware, or forgot, that the automatic speed reduction system had not been activated yet.
yes, we are decade behind europe, but it seems more like centuries. I wish i had a better understanding of why because there is no reason why we can't adopt proven technology being used elsewhere in the world.
It likely to be a perfect storm. ie, the warning system failed, and the backup warning system was down for repair; the conductor was distracted by another malfunctioning system that gave him tunnel vision, and the second on command was in the restroom, the third in command reported high speed to the conductor, but conductor did hear what was said, and then when the conductor understood they were traveling too fast, it was too late, etc, etc.