WA: The Latest on the Amtrak Train Derailment

Dec. 19, 2017
Victims of Amtrak derailment in DuPont, Washington, included Pierce Transit employee and longtime rail advocates.

Last updated 12/21/17, 9:24 a.m. CST

The Amtrak Cascades Train 501 left Seattle Monday morning at about 6:00 a.m., headed for Portland, on its inaugural trip. About 40 miles south of Seattle, at about 7:30 a.m., the train derailed on a bridge over Interstate 5, with some cars falling below.

The train was carrying about 80 passengers and seven crew members. On the freeway it landed, there were five vehicles and two semi-trucks damaged from the falling train cars and debris. About 100 people were taken to local hospitals, at least six train passengers have died. 

The tracks are owned by Sound Transit, which managed recent track-upgrade work under an agreement with the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The cause of the derailment is under investigation. Bella Dinh-Zarr, a National Transportation Safety Board member, said at a Monday night news conference that information from the event data recorder in the rear locomotive showed the train was traveling at 80 mph in a 30 mph zone when it derailed at 7:34 a.m.

Updated 12/21: Train Derailment: Officials Pushed 'Aggressive' Timeline before Safety Technology was Ready MassTransitmag.com/12387976

Duo Killed in Amtrak Train Derailment Were Longtime Rail Advocates Eager for Trip: MassTransitmag.com/12387724

 A Victim in Train Derailment Identified as Pierce Transit Employee: MassTransitmag.com/12387726

Feds examining whether Amtrak engineer was distracted during crash: report: The Hill

Speeding Amtrak Train Didn't Brake before Fatal Crash Near DuPont, According to NTSB Analysis of Data Recorders: MassTransitmag.com/12387730

Amtrak Derailment Spotlights Delay in Train Safety Upgrades: The Hill

NTSB: Amtrak Washington Train Traveling At 80 MPH In 30 MPH Zone: NPR

Amtrak derailment: Mayor had urged for improved safety along route: CBS

Amtrak train speeding 50 mph over limit before deadly derailment in Washington state: Chicago Tribune

What is positive train control, and could it have prevented the Amtrak crash?: CNN

The deadliest US commuter train crashes in the last two decades: CNN

See bird's-eye view of train derailment: CNN

Hear the train conductor's radio call: CNN

Amtrak Train Sounded Like it Had a 'Flat Wheel,' Says Olympia Man Who Survived Crash: MassTransitmag.com/12387484

'Everything Went Dark' -- Passengers Speak about Amtrak Derailment, Aftermath: MassTransitmag.com/12387483

Eagle Scout Rushed to Help, Comfort Victims of Washington Amtrak Crash: MassTransitmag.com/12387479

Cranes Moved to Site of Deadly Amtrak Derailment Near Olympia: MassTransitmag.com/12387476

Talgo issued a statement Monday afternoon: "The derailment that took place this morning, December 18, 2017,  on the Seattle-Portland route of the Pacific Northwest Corridor, branded as Amtrak Cascades, involved a Talgo Series 6 trainset, Mt. Adams, owned by the State of Washington and operated by Amtrak as train #501.  The train consist had 12 cars and was hauled by a locomotive built by a third party.  WSDOT owns 3  Series 6 trainsets; Amtrak owns 2 Series 6 trains. The Series 6 fleet were assembled in Seattle on 1998 and started revenue service in 1999.  Oregon purchased two Series 8 trainsets in 2010 manufactured in Milwaukee, WI. We appreciate the media allowing Talgo, local stakeholders and authorities time to do their best to address the accident and collect and analyze information so we may report accurately."