The terrible train accident in Philadelphia almost certainly could have been prevented if available safety equipment had been installed. As usual, we are told it is too expensive to get all trains equipped ["Rapid speedup before crash," News, May 15].

Congress consistently refuses to allocate enough money to our transportation systems because of budget concerns. Yet any time a Third World country has a crisis, Congress seems able to grant billions.

It is time for Congress to realize our country's transportation systems are in a desperate need of repair. Bridges are failing, roads are crumbling and rail systems need upgrading. This all costs money; it's up to Congress to supply the funding.

Mary McHugh, Bay Shore

I would think that based on the recent train derailments, we should seriously consider having a co-engineer on all passenger trains.

This could ensure that we have someone to take over for a sleepy or drugged engineer who dozes off, or for an engineer who ignores speed limits and brakes too late.

Engineers should be checked periodically for drug use or ill health. Eight dead and more than 200 injured is unacceptable.

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Peter G. Kraeker, Hicksville

My suggestion to avoid derailments due to excessive speed would be to install something to govern the throttles, so that maximum speeds could be programmed.

Joe Giacoponello, Garden City