Both individuals killed were Amtrak personnel, McMaster said. After a recent round of train accidents and budget tightening he'd voiced concerns something could happen to him on the rails.
About 70 people were injured. Today's wreck was the third fatal Amtrak incident since mid-December.
Republicans had chartered the train to carry them from Washington to the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, where the party was holding its annual policy retreat. It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track. An NTSB investigation team was at the site. This time it was in Virginia and it was due to crashing a passenger train with a garbage truck.
"It's very effective in train collision prevention and over-speed prevention", Dr. Allan Zarembski, director of the Railroad Engineering and Safety Program at the University of DE, has previously said.
Congressman Joe Wilson tweeted: Heartbreaking news this morning.
Anderson said dispatchers at CSX were manually routing trains when the crash occurred.
At least 2 dead, 70 injured in Amtrak train crash and derailment
Michael Kempf, 54, had been with Amtrak for up to six years, his younger brother, Rich, said.
Positive train control is a system created to compensate for human error, such as leaving a train switch in the wrong position, officials said.
The conductor and engineer were killed in the crash. However no lawmaker had serious injury in the crash. Some motorists on I-5 were also among the injured. There were 8 crew members and approximately 139 customers on board.
As the freight train traveled over the main track the switch was activated to allow it to move to the side track. He described the damage to the train cars impacted as "catastrophic".
Several other crash victims are reportedly in critical condition. They were checking a technical issue at the time of the crash. A phone line has been set up for people who have inquiries about passengers, at 800-523-9101.
This is one of a few train accidents that have occurred in the past few months. The CSX train did not have any passengers on board, McMaster said. Two workers were killed and 35 people were injured. The railroad company said that the lead engine and some of the passenger cars had come off the tracks. The train had been traveling more than 100 miles per hour and flipped.More news: Maldives declares 'state of emergency' over political detainees