A locked track switch is being blamed for the crash of an Amtrak passenger train into a freight train that killed two people and injured more than 100 in South Carolina on Sunday and is again raising questions about the roll-out of a new system to make U.S. railways safer.

The head of the National Transportation Safety Board said a switch on the tracks, which the freight hauler CSX Corp. owns and operates, was padlocked in a position that steered the Amtrak train onto a siding near Columbia, South Carolina, where it crashed into a parked, unoccupied CSX train.

"Key to this investigation is learning why the switch was lined that way," Robert Sumwalt, the chairman of the NTSB, told reporters Sunday. The NTSB plans an update Monday on Amtrak's third deadly crash in as many months.