Feed truck hit train track before Amtrak accident


Feed truck hit train track before Amtrak accident

WICHITA, Kan. A truck used to deliver feed to a business where cattle are fattened hit a train track and shifted it at least a foot before an Amtrak train derailed in southwest Kansas and injured at least 32 people, an investigator said Tuesday.

National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener did not say if the feed truck was the cause of the Amtrak Southwest Chief’s accident the day earlier.

But he said the impact of the truck from the Cimarron Crossing Feeders shifted the train tracks 12 to 14 inches.

Mr. Weener had said on Monday that the engineer was vigilant and noticed the variation on the track, causing him to brake. The track had been inspected last week, he said.

The train, which had about 130 passengers and 14 crew members, was making a 43 hour journey from Los Angeles to Chicago when it derailed shortly after midnight along a straight stretch of tracks in flat farmland near Cimarron, a small community about 160 miles west of Wichita. Eight cars derailed,
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Four of them remained hospitalized Monday night, including two people who were airlifted to Amarillo, Texas. The rest had been released.

The tracks run along Highway 50, which has no barrier that would prevent a vehicle from leaving the roadway and driving near or onto the tracks. The road and tracks are separated by a shallow depression.

Daniel Aiken, of Lenexa,
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"Once people realized the train wasn’t going to blow up, they calmed down,
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Visibility at the accident site was relatively clear at the time of the derailment.

The future of the Southwest Chief service the only Amtrak route through Kansas,
cheap evening dresses, with stops at six cities had been uncertain in recent years. Amtrak had warned it might stop or reroute the line because of disputes over who would pay to install safety technology, but officials reached a deal last year.

Tens of millions of dollars were invested in improving parts of the rail line in Colorado and Kansas,
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