At Least 3 Killed and 50 Injured in Amtrak Derailment in Montana

By Kurt Stolz on 25 September 2021
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An Amtrak train derailed in Montana Saturday afternoon, leaving at least three people dead and 50 injured.

In a statement, the railroad said that five cars from Amtrak’s Empire Builder train 7/27 derailed near Joplin, Montana.

The Empire Builder is a long-distance train that operates daily between Chicago and either Seattle or Portland, according to information on Amtrak’s website.  The route gives travelers an opportunity to “experience the rugged splendor of the American West.”

Amtrak, which is the operator of most of the United States’ passenger rail services, said the accident occurred at approximately 4 p.m. local time.

There were 147 passengers and 13 crew members on board.

“Amtrak is working with the local authorities to transport injured passengers, and safely evacuate all other passengers,” the railway said in its initial statement. “Additional details will be provided as available.”

The Empire Builder was introduced in 1929 and was the flagship passenger train of the Great Northern Railway and its successor, the Burlington Northern Railroad.  It was retained by Amtrak when it took over intercity rail service in 1971.

Derailments of Amtrak trains are rare but there have been several in recent years.  In 2018, three people died after an Amtrak train found itself on the wrong track in South Carolina and slammed into a stopped freight train, and, in 2017, an Amtrak Cascades passenger train derailed near DuPont, Washington, on its inaugural run, killing three passengers and injuring 62. The train was reportedly traveling at nearly 50 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.

In 2015, An Amtrak train en route from Washington, D.C. to Pennsylvania Station in New York City derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight and injuring 200, 11 critically.  The train was traveling at 102 mph (164 km/h) in a 50 mph (80 km/h) zone of curved tracks when it derailed.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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