As crews continues to remove wreckage from Tuesday's fatal Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia, it turns out that the rail company did have automatic braking on the tracks. But only on the other side.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

If Amtrak Train 188 had been heading to Philadelphia from New York City, it would not have derailed at the sharp Frankford Junction curve, because an automatic braking mechanism has been in place for years on the southbound side of the tracks to stop a speeding train.

But Amtrak never installed the same electronics on the northbound side, so Train 188 was able to enter the curve where the speed limit is 50 m.p.h. at more than 100 m.p.h.

Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman said in an interview that the lack of the automatic-braking control on one side of the curve was "a loophole" that he was unaware of until Train 188 derailed Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring about 200.

Further, Amtrak was apparently delayed in installing the braking system for years. From the NY Times:

In 2008, Congress ordered the installation of what are known as positive train control systems, which can detect an out-of-control, speeding train and automatically slow it down. But because lawmakers failed to provide the railroads access to the wireless frequencies required to make the system work, Amtrak was forced to negotiate for airwaves owned by private companies that are often used in mobile broadband.

Officials said Amtrak had made installation of the congressionally mandated safety system a priority and was ahead of most other railroads around the country.

But the railroad struggled for four years to buy the rights to airwaves in the Northeast Corridor that would have allowed them to turn the system on.

“The transponders were on the tracks,” said one person who attended a Thursday morning briefing for congressional staff members. “But they also said they weren’t operational, because of this ongoing spectrum issue.”

Train 188, a train from Washington D.C. to New York City, derailed at the Frankford Junction curve. The National Transportation Safety Board says that the train was going 106 MPH, well over the 50 authorized speed. Apparently, in the last minute before the crash, the train accelerated from 70 MPH to over 100 MPH: "[NTSB] Board member Robert Sumwalt said it's unclear whether the speed was increased manually by engineer Brandon Bostian."

Bostian, a 32-year-old Queens resident, had refused to speak to investigators until recently. His lawyer says he has no recollection of the crash at all. Someone named Brandon Bostian has written on different train forums, complaining about engineer fatigue. The Post quoted a few, including, "Everyone wants an extension to hours of service to avoid inconvenience, but what will you say when the crew that’s been on duty for long­er than 12 hours accidentally falls asleep and passes a stop signal and rear-ends a loaded hazmat train, killing dozens or hundreds of people?" and "At any point over the previous EIGHTY years the railroad could have voluntarily implemented some form of this technology on the line where the fateful wreck took place. But instead, it took an act of Congress to get them to do it."

Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman posted a letter on Amtrak's blog last night, "With truly heavy hearts, we mourn those who died. Their loss leaves holes in the lives of their families and communities. On behalf of the entire Amtrak family, I offer our sincere sympathies and prayers for them and their loved ones. Amtrak takes full responsibility and deeply apologizes for our role in this tragic event."

All eight victims killed in the crash have been identified: They include a Navy midshipman from Queens; a tech company CEO who lived in Stuyvesant Town; a CUNY dean; and a Baltimore businessman whose son was passing out flyers after the crash, hoping his dad was merely missing.