Skip to comments.DERAILED AMTRAK TRAIN TRAVELING NEAR SPEED LIMIT (Search on for recent car repair records)
Posted on 04/07/2004 9:33:13 PM PDT by varina davis
Derailed Amtrak Train Traveling Near Speed Limit Wed Apr 7, 2004 11:26 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An Amtrak train was traveling one mph under the speed limit before derailing in a Mississippi swamp, killing one person and injuring dozens of others, investigators said late on Wednesday. The National Transportation Safety Board said data recordings from the City of New Orleans showed the Chicago-bound train was clocked at 78 mph just 10 seconds before the engineer activated the emergency brakes at 6:33 p.m. CDT/7:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday.
The train with 61 passengers and 12 crewmembers jumped the tracks in a remote wooded area 25 miles north of Jackson. The locomotive and a bag car remained upright, but several passenger cars fell onto their sides in a swampy creek bed.
Investigators will interview the engineer on Thursday.
A woman from Chicago was killed and 58 were hurt. Four people remained hospitalized. A Mississippi emergency management official said two were in critical condition.
Investigators sought repair records for work done on the double-decker passenger cars. They did not specify the type of repairs or the number of cars involved, but noted the work had been performed recently.
Although the FBI responded to the derailment, a preliminary assessment found no signs of sabotage or vandalism, federal, state and railroad officials said.
Amtrak, freight railroads and mass transit systems are on alert following last month's Madrid commuter train bombings. A law enforcement advisory last week warned about potential plots against U.S. subway and rail networks this summer. There have been bomb threats against two Amtrak trains in recent weeks.
The train was operating on tracks owned by the Canadian National/Illinois Central Railroad, a unit of Montreal-based freight hauler Canadian National Railway Co.
A spokesman for CN/IC, Ian Thomson, said the tracks were cleared by an inspector on Sunday. Last Friday, crews went over the rails with a machine that looks for flaws and found nothing wrong, he said.
Thomson said the last northbound freight train rolled over the derailment site without incident about three hours before the Amtrak train approached. In addition, a southbound freight train saw nothing unusual about the tracks when it passed by the site in the late afternoon.
However, there were two freight train derailments -- in 1997 and 2001 -- in the general area of the Amtrak crash, Thomson said.
The tracks were expected to reopen to traffic early Thursday.
I was just curious WHO made the repairs -- worked on the cars.
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