Derailed Amtrak Train Was Going 80 MPH in 30-MPH Zone
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Amtrak train No. 501 was going nearly three times its speed limit when it derailed off a bridge onto traffic on a busy interstate Monday morning, killing at least three and injuring over 100, officials said.
“Preliminary indications are that the train was traveling 80 miles per hour in a 30-mile-per-hour track,” National Transportation Safety Board member Bella Dinh-Zarr said late Monday night.
The train was on its inaugural journey on a new route for the Cascades Seattle-to-Portland route when it jumped the rails and fell onto Interstate 5 around 7:45am PT. The train was on a curve with a 30-mph speed limit when it derailed. Amtrak said the train was not using positive train control, a system that would have automatically slowed the train as it entered the curve. The necessary sensors for positive train control are not scheduled to be put in place until next year.
Three people have died so far, and about 100 were hospitalized or treated for injuries, including many in critical condition. There were a reported 78 passengers and five crew members aboard.
Photos of the scene showed the train engine and 12 of its 14 cars off the rails and tumbling down onto the interstate. The wreckage was so perilously positioned that officials held off on providing a definitive count of the dead Monday night, saying it was possible that there were still bodies inside cars that rescue workers couldn’t safely access yet.
Several vehicles on the road were damaged as well, and the crash caused massive delays both for street traffic and trains between Seattle and Portland. In response, Alaska Airlines and Delta capped the price of flights between the two cities.
Featured image courtesy of Washington State Patrol.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.