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Amtrak (27) derailment in Washington.


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#1 Ray L. Nutz

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 01:39 PM

Four-Car Passenger Train's Locomotive Derails In Columbia Gorge

POSTED: 11:03 am PDT April 3, 2005

Oregon -- An Amtrak passenger-train locomotive derailed this morning in the Columbia River Gorge -- near the town of Home Valley, across from the city of Hood River in Oregon. There were no serious injuries.

Amtrak spokeswoman Marcie Golgoski says the accident occurred this morning about 9:30. The train's four cars remained upright, leaning against an embankment by the track.

Some of the 107 passengers were shaken up and some suffered minor injuries. Golgoski says emergency crews are on the scene. There also were eight crew members on board.

The train was the Number 27, an extension of the Empire Builder route from Chicago. The Number 27 takes passengers from Spokane to Portland, while the Number Seven Empire Builder proceeds from Spokane to Seattle. ---

B-N-S-F Railway spokesman Gus Melonas says the company is investigating the cause of the accident. He confirmed the locomotive's wheels are off the track.

The derailment occurred on the main Columbia Gorge line. Melonas says B-N-S-F will have rerailing equipment and about three dozen workers at the site around noon. The line could reopen as early as late afternoon.

Melonas says about 40 trains use that track daily -- two passenger trains (one in each direection) and the rest carrying freight. ---

People with relatives on board can call 1-800-523-9101.

Amtrak's Website is www.amtrak.com.

#2 battalion51

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 01:41 PM

Well it sounds like it was only the power (thankfully), hopefully no more Superliners will have to be taken OOS.

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#3 AlanB

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 01:46 PM

Well it sounds like it was only the power (thankfully), hopefully no more Superliners will have to be taken OOS.

Huh? :unsure:

The train's four cars remained upright, leaning against an embankment by the track.


Sure sounds like the Superliners are off the track to me. It may not be heavy damage, but cars leaning against an embankment can't be good for the outer shell.
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#4 battalion51

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 01:48 PM

My bad. SH!#

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#5 Ray L. Nutz

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 03:19 PM

Report is their still extricating people, presumable one of them the engineer, but I have no conformation.

#6 AmtrakFan

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 03:35 PM

There are no fatilaties yet thank god!
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#7 AlanB

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 03:44 PM

Here's Amtrak's press release:

April 3, 2005 4:00 p.m. EDT

Media Contact:  1-800-562-1904

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At approximately 9:30 PDT, the Portland section of Amtrak's westbound Empire Builder, train #27, operating from Chicago to Portland, Ore. via Spokane, Wash., derailed in Home Valley, Washington (approx. 20 miles west of the Bingen-White Salmon, Wash. train station).

Train #27 is the Spokane-Portland section of the daily Empire Builder that operates between Chicago and Portland/Seattle. The train involved departed Chicago April 1 and split off from the Seattle section of the train, as it normally does, at Spokane.

The train consists of one locomotive and four cars, all of which have derailed. The locomotive remains partially on the tracks while all the cars are upright against an embankment adjacent to the train tracks.

There were approximately 115 passengers and crewmembers on board. Mostly minor injuries have been reported. Approximately 6-12 passengers have been taken to local hospitals. Uninjured passengers have been taken to a local shelter.

Amtrak has dispatched a customer care team to the sight to assist passengers and crew and to arrange for transportation for customers.  

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has dispatched a team to the location to lead the investigation into the cause of the derailment. All inquiries regarding the cause of the derailment should be directed to the NTSB.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF), which owns, operates and maintains the tracks in this area, has also dispatched a team to the scene.

Family members inquiring about passengers should call 1-800-523-9101.

Media Inquiries should be directed to 1-800-562-1904.


The full press release can be found here.
Alan,

Take care and take trains!

#8 AMTRAK-P42

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 09:52 PM

If anyone discovers the lead pony, let me know!
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#9 AlanB

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 10:27 PM

Here's the latest from Amtrak:

April 3, 2005 6:30 p.m. EDT

Media Contact:  1-800-562-1904

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Approximately 100 of the passengers and crewmembers from the derailment of the Empire Builder, train #27, traveling from Spokane to Portland have been provided alternate transportation to their destinations.

Approximately 15 other passengers are receiving medical attention at local hospitals for minor injuries, ranging from cuts to a fractured wrist. Amtrak will provide alternate transportation for these passengers once they are ready to continue travel to their destinations. Amtrak customer care teams continue to remain on site with passengers to make sure their needs are being met.

While the investigation into the derailment continues, the route between Spokane and Portland is closed to train traffic. Passengers with reservations on trains 27 and 28 for Sunday and Monday will be contacted by an Amtrak reservation agent regarding alternate transportation. Passengers may also call 1-800-USA-RAIL to check train status and get the latest updates regarding their reservations.

At approximately 9:30 PDT, the Portland section of Amtrak's westbound Empire Builder, train #27, operating from Chicago to Portland, Ore. via Spokane, Wash., derailed in Home Valley, Washington (approx. 20 miles west of the Bingen-White Salmon, Wash. train station).

Train #27 is the Spokane-Portland section of the daily Empire Builder that operates between Chicago and Portland/Seattle. The train involved departed Chicago April 1 and split off from the Seattle section of the train, as it normally does, at Spokane.

The train consists of one locomotive and four cars, all of which have derailed. The locomotive remains partially on the tracks while all the cars are upright against an embankment adjacent to the train tracks.

There were approximately 115 passengers and crewmembers on board. Mostly minor injuries have been reported.  

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has dispatched a team to the location to lead the investigation into the cause of the derailment. All inquiries regarding the cause of the derailment should be directed to the NTSB.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF), which owns, operates and maintains the tracks in this area, has also dispatched a team to the scene.

Family members inquiring about passengers should call 1-800-523-9101.

Media Inquiries should be directed to 1-800-562-1904.


The full press release can be found here.
Alan,

Take care and take trains!

#10 EmpireBuilderFan

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 11:10 PM

If anyone discovers the lead pony, let me know!

Here's the consist from Gene Poon on the Yahoo Groups Amtrak mailing list:

P-42 163
Sightseer Lounge 33016
Coach 34016
Baggage Coach 31006
Sleeper 32018

This is a pretty typical 27/28 consist (1 engine, SL, 2 coaches, 1 sleeper) between Spokane and Portland. The consist of 27 usually gets turned, cleaned and sent back out as the same day's 28. Has anyone heard how they handled today's #28? Is there going to be a very short #8/808 (without any kind of 28 section) coming into Chicago on Tuesday?
Fr. Cory (EmpireBuilderFan)

#11 AlanB

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 11:30 PM

Has anyone heard how they handled today's #28? Is there going to be a very short #8/808 (without any kind of 28 section) coming into Chicago on Tuesday?

That'd be my guess from all reports.

Wonder if they'll offer coach pax a discount in the diner, since the cafe is missing.
Alan,

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#12 Trogdor

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 11:33 PM

Has anyone heard how they handled today's #28? Is there going to be a very short #8/808 (without any kind of 28 section) coming into Chicago on Tuesday?

Well, Amtrak.com shows 8(3) leaving 3 minutes late, but has "Service Disruption" for 28(3). Since Seattle generally doesn't have much spare equipment (if they even had anything at all, I'm sure they wouldn't have a lounge, two coaches, and a sleeper), I also would be curious to know how they're handling things.

They'll probably add a coach (if one is even available) or two to 7(4) to deadhead to MSP, so that it can run MSP-CHI.

I'll probably find out tomorrow how they handled 28(3), and post it here if it isn't posted before then.
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Posted 04 April 2005 - 01:44 PM

Katu has a video report. Go to KATU.COM

#14 EmpireBuilderFan

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 01:53 PM

Well, it looks like Gene Poon answered my questions. Once again from the Amtrak mailing list:

As a result of the derailment of Train 27(01APR) near Bingen, WA:

>> - 27(2) TERMINATED SPK ON APRIL 4, BUSES TO DESTINATIONS.
>> - 27(3) WILL TERMINATE SPK APRIL 5, BUSES TO DESTINATIONS.
>> - 28(3) WAS CANCELLED PDX-SPK, BUSES TO SPK THEN TRAIN.
>> - 28(4) WILL BE CANCELLED PDX-SPK, BUSES TO SPK THEN TRAIN.
>> - 28(5) PENDING, TO BE ANNOUNCED.

It sounds like it'll take some time before the derailment is cleaned up and BNSF will let Amtrak back through the Gorge. I suppose the equipment that would have made up the PDX section of 27(2) remained in the consist and continued to Seattle.
Fr. Cory (EmpireBuilderFan)

#15 MrFSS

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 02:26 PM

Katu has a video report. Go to KATU.COM



I just watched the 10 minute video. Doesn't look like any of those cars will be back in service, soon. The track is in really bad shape, whats left of it. Intereesting point made by the reporter. If it had happened a few minutes sooner the entire train could have ended up in the Columbia River.

Worth watching the video.

Here is the actual link: KATU.COM Click on the derailment story for the video.

#16 Trogdor

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 03:44 PM

I suppose the equipment that would have made up the PDX section of 27(2) remained in the consist and continued to Seattle.

Actually, 27(2) terminated in Spokane, and the equipment then turned to represent 28(3) SPK-CHI. The same thing will happen with the next turn of equipment, due to arrive tonight. I don't know what will happen after that.

If it has not already been reopened, the track could open as soon as today.
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#17 AMTRAK-P42

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 03:50 PM

If anyone discovers the lead pony, let me know!

Here's the consist from Gene Poon on the Yahoo Groups Amtrak mailing list:

P-42 163
Sightseer Lounge 33016
Coach 34016
Baggage Coach 31006
Sleeper 32018

This is a pretty typical 27/28 consist (1 engine, SL, 2 coaches, 1 sleeper) between Spokane and Portland. The consist of 27 usually gets turned, cleaned and sent back out as the same day's 28. Has anyone heard how they handled today's #28? Is there going to be a very short #8/808 (without any kind of 28 section) coming into Chicago on Tuesday?

Thanks Builder
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Go #8-04 Daytona 500 Winner!!

#18 steve_relei

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 04:20 PM

I was at Portland Union Station yesterday when I saw the TV crews waiting for the buses to bring the pasengers (I knew something bad was up when TV crews are there; that's the only time they are there, so it seems).

Amtrak's Empire Builder (the Portland section) derailed between Carson and Stevenson, WA (on the printed schedule, it is between Bingen-White Salmon and Vancouver, WA) and about across the Columbia River from Cascade Locks (OR). The train derailed on a curve--the cars being flung to the outside of the curve westbound--to the right, landing against an embankment, keeping the cars from tipping all the way over. The locomotive was still upright. Many people said that was fortunate. If they train hand derailed the other way, the cars could have ended up in the river. Yes, the tracks are that close to the river. It is also relatively close to State Route (HWY) #14. Fortunately, no train cars blocked or interfered with highway traffic, although the highway was closed intermittently to aid in the rescue operations and eventually to allow crews to re-rail the cars. I saw a news footage this morning that showed the right side of the coaches bent in and windows broken from the impact. Photos also showed the track damage. Crews hope to have the line reopened by about 6pm tonight, but Amtrak will still be using buses between Portland and Spokane--at least for today (Monday). The cars were damaged, and I don't know how long--or if-- they will be repaired and returned to service.

There were 115 people onboard. The accident happened at about 9:30am--sounds like the train was running a little late (it's due in at Portland at 10:10am). People reported the cars tilting to the right; people from the left side of the train were thrown onto people on the right; some say seats came apart. About 26 people were injured--most not very seriously. Three people were carried away on gurneys; one grandmother was the most seriously injured and had to be gotten out very carefully. People were taken to hospitals in Vancouver, WA, and Portland, OR. A middle school in Carson (WA) was set up as a place to bring passengers until buses could take them the rest of the way to Portland. Praises went out to the people, sherriffs, and other emergency workers of the area in helping the train's passengers and with rescue operations. Most people were suprised that relatively few people were injured. "It could have been a lot worse," some people said.

I was at the station when the buses arrived with passengers. I was a ways back (I didn't want to be in the way), but several people did look dazed--perhaps in shock--even as they got off the bus. There were two buses of passengers. Amtrak gave out little information to the public (perhaps Amtrak didn't know itself), and some people seemed upset about that. People with cell phones were able to call family members and let them know they were all right. Cell phones do have their uses.

I watched the news on all three local stations, and ABC (#2) was the fairest and most compassionate and seemed to know more about the train.

The Oregonian Story about Builder Derailment


Also: .KATU TV News about derailment
In all, I am glad it was not more serious, I don't like to see this happen and I take it personally

#19 Trogdor

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 04:27 PM

The accident happened at about 9:30am--sounds like the train was running a little late (it's due in at Portland at 10:10am).

The train wasn't running late. Time must have magically jumped forward an hour, or something.
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#20 steve_relei

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 04:36 PM

According to the printed schedule, the Builder is supposed to be at the Vancouver (WA) station at 9:20am and at PDX at 10:10am; it was 9:30am when the derailment happened. The train was running a little late--even if the lateness might have been caused by the time change.



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