Three Dead After Amtrak’s New Cascades Service Derails on First Run

by Jessica Montevago
Three Dead After Amtrak’s New Cascades Service Derails on First Run

Photo: Michael715/Shutterstock.com


An Amtrak passenger train was well over the speed limit when it derailed yesterday in Tacoma, Washington, killing at least three people and injuring about 100 others, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said. Amtrak service south of Seattle was temporarily suspended, the company said.

Amtrak train 501 was on its inaugural run of the new faster-speed Cascades service from Seattle to Portland. The newly established route running on refurbished tracks, called the Point Defiance Bypass Project, eliminated corners and tunnels that ran on the scenic Puget Sound route. It was part of an $800 million project called the Cascades High-Speed Rail Capital Program, which also included a new Amtrak station in Tacoma.

Officials say the train was traveling 80 mph in a 30 mph zone – more than twice the speed limit – when it jumped the tracks on an overpass south of Tacoma.

All twelve of the train’s coaches and two engines derailed, carrying 77 passengers and five crew members, with several coaches falling onto Interstate 5 below the overpass. Five cars and a pair of trucks were involved in the highway pileup, but no motorists were killed, officials said. Dozens were injured, including people from vehicles on the ground. Ten of those hurt were in serious condition, Washington State Patrol spokesman Dan Hall said.

At a news conference late Monday Pacific Time, NTSB board member Bella Dinh-Zarr said it was “too early to tell” why the train was traveling at such a high speed.

Just last month, the NTSB issued a report saying Amtrak had "deficient" safety procedures. In a statement published in November, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said, "Amtrak's safety culture is failing and is primed to fail again, until and unless Amtrak changes the way it practices safety management.”

  0
  0
Tip of the Day

“There is no way you can be an expert in all areas, so invest in yourself to know the destinations and products you decide to sell. Find a system that works for you and then duplicate it.” - Lindsay Foerster, Travel Advisor

Daily Top List

Largest Airports in the World by Passenger Numbers

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

2. Beijing Capital International Airport

3. Dubai International Airport

4. Los Angeles International Airport

5. Tokyo Haneda Airport

Source: InternationalAirportReview

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
The Unstoppable Trend: Solo Travel Growing and Going Just About Anywhere
The Unstoppable Trend: Solo Travel Growing and Going Just About Anywhere

Many suppliers are reducing or eliminating solo travel supplements, prompting even more solo travelers to book trips.

National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures Open for Booking
National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures Open for Booking

The trips are all led by two specially trained Chief Experience Officers who are trained to cater the trips to both the interest of the adults and the children.

Adventures by Disney Reveals Lineup of 2020 Itineraries
Adventures by Disney Reveals Lineup of 2020 Itineraries

Among the offerings is a 10-day trip to Egypt, including a new three-part tour and experiences tailored specifically for adults.

Journese Launches ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ with Commission Protection
Journese Launches ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ with Commission Protection

Good news for travel advisors, the plan features 100% commission protection and a simplified cancellation process.

Tour Operators Predict Rapid Recovery After Notre Dame Fire
Tour Operators Predict Rapid Recovery After Notre Dame Fire

Unable to say for sure, most tour operators suspect the enthusiasm for France may actually be heightened over the tragedy.

Tour Operators Frustrated by Vague Cuba Policy Announcement
Tour Operators Frustrated by Vague Cuba Policy Announcement

Little is known about what the new Trump administration policy changes will mean for American travelers to Cuba.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Agents - Thank You!