A feed company whose truck rolled down a hill and crashed into railroad tracks in Cimarron, Kan., in March 2016 has admitted fault and avoided a trial on the matter.

This aerial view provided by the Kansas Highway Patrol in March 2016 shows derailed cars from the Southwest Chief.

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief derailed on those same tracks about 15 hours later, and 28 people aboard the Los Angeles-to-Chicago train were hurt.
The Associated Press reported that Cimarron Crossing Feeders said in a court filing that an employee was negligent in not setting the truck’s brake, allowing it to roll.
The National Transportation Safety Board determined last November that the probable cause of the derailment was that driver’s failure to properly secure his unattended truck, which struck the BNSF railroad tracks and caused them to misalign.
NTSB also ruled the failure of the truck’s driver and his supervisor to report the incident to local authorities was a contributing cause in the accident.

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio (Dec. 19) — SMART Transportation Division is assisting as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducts its investigation and offers its sincere condolences to the victims and families of those affected by the Dec. 18 Amtrak Cascades derailment outside of DuPont, Wash.
Members of SMART TD’s national Safety Task Force have responded to the accident scene and will work along with the NTSB and other rail investigators to help determine probable cause of the accident and to make appropriate safety recommendations at the conclusion of the investigation.
SMART TD has a Party Status agreement with the NTSB that makes the federal agency the chief source of information for this and other accident probes involving trains. Because of this, neither the union nor its representatives will make any official comments as to the status of the accident investigation or the events leading up to the accident. All media inquiries should be directed to the NTSB, which will provide details about the accident and the investigation. Any comment on the investigation from current or former members does not speak for the union or its membership.
“We will await the facts of the investigation and will not speculate in any way about the circumstances leading up to this accident,” SMART TD President John Previsich said. “We offer our sincere condolences to the victims and families of the victims of the Cascades derailment, and our personnel will help investigators as they look for answers as to the cause of this tragedy.”


The SMART Transportation Division is comprised of approximately 125,000 active and retired members of the former United Transportation Union, who work in a variety of crafts in the transportation industry.

The Amtrak Cascades train 501 that derailed over Interstate 5 near DuPont, Wash., Monday, Dec. 18 was speeding, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said. The train was traveling at around 80 mph in a 30 mph zone, the agency said.
The train was carrying 80 passengers and five crew members. Three passengers have been reported dead and roughly 100 passengers and motorists were injured. The train had two engines, one at the front and one at the rear, and 12 passenger cars. Thirteen of the 14 cars derailed, with only the rear locomotive staying on the tracks. The derailed cars struck five motor vehicles and two semi-trucks on the highway below.
Click here to read more from Seattlepi.

CBS reports that high-speed, southbound Amtrak Cascades train 501 derailed on an overpass this morning near DuPont in Washington state. At least one train car crashed down onto Interstate 5 and blocked all lanes of traffic.
Authorities say that injuries and casualties have been reported but no details as to how many have been given. First responders are treating the accident as a mass casualty event.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Click here to read more from CBS.

Amtrak LogoA southbound Amtrak train derailed Monday morning in central Vermont after apparently striking a rock slide, officials said.

The accident occurred in the town of Northfield, about 10 miles south of Montpelier, the state capital.

A spokesperson for the Montpelier Fire Department said they had reports of four people injured so far after five cars derailed, two of which tumbled over a bank. There have been no reported deaths, the spokesperson, Lt. Dana Huoppi, said. A federal official told NBC News that none of the injuries so far appeared life-threatening.

Read more from NBC News.

capitolWashington, D.C. — The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to delay a year-end deadline for railroads to install automatic speed control equipment that would have averted a fatal Amtrak crash several months ago. 

The Senate passed $350 billion legislation to renew federal highway and rail programs for six years, 65-34, but the measure gives railroads another three years to install positive train control. The absence of such equipment along the Northeast Corridor was blamed for the May 13 fatal derailment of a speeding Amtrak train in Philadelphia.

Read more from NJ.com.

safety_signTwo months after a deadly Amtrak crash outside of Philadelphia thrust the issue back into the spotlight, frustrated legislators in the Northeast are seemingly no closer to getting the rail-safety upgrades they want.

The transportation measure sitting on the floor of the Senate would seem the best vehicle for them, even as it faces an uncertain future given the plan for both chambers to move a three-month highway-bill extension and revisit the issue in the fall—meaning more delays for what supporters say is an essential pot of money for rail safety.

Northeastern Democrats were disappointed by a lack of funding for safety upgrades in the bill that appeared on the Senate floor and have threatened their support for the final product unless more substantial changes are made. Even a late addition of more funding for a safety system known as Positive Train Control doesn’t seem to have met their demands.

Read more from NationalJournal