Train Derailment: Amtrak Train in Vermont Derailed in Rock Slide
An Amtrak “Vermonter” train derailed this morning in central Vermont after colliding with debris from a rock slide. The train was carrying 98 passengers and 4 crew members, one of whom was airlifted to a trauma center for emergency care following the incident. 7 others, including the train’s conductor, were taken to a nearby hospital for non-critical injury treatment. Uninjured passengers were transported in school busses to an armory near Norwich University.
The state-of-the-art tracks were obstructed by heavy rock fall debris. The impact caused the train derailment in which five cars “jumped” the tracks and sent the lead passenger car and locomotive careening into a nearby body of water.
Vermont Governer Peter Shumlin (D) called the rockslide incident a “freak of nature,” when giving his official statement. He further elaborated that the train appeared to be obeying speed limits and traveling under 59 mph when it hit the rock debris on the tracks. “There is no reason at this time to believe that there was any negligence on anyone’s part,” he said.
Despite the likelihood that this incident was an act of nature, investigations are underway to ensure that no liability lay with the driver or the manufacture of the train and/or tracks. Investigations will be conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Railroad Administration.
The “Vermonter” train runs daily with service between St. Albans, Vermont and Washington D.C. It is currently the only Amtrak service that runs on this track and is very popular among tourists traveling through New England. The route is around 600 miles and in 2014 it serviced 88,000 passengers – about 241 per day.
Service on the Vermonter is suspended north of Springfield while crews work to clear the substantial debris from the rockslide and rebuild the damaged tracks. During this suspension, commuters will be provided with bus services to and from Springfield, Massachusetts. It is currently unknown when service may be restored.
The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff has been involved in many of the recent train derailment cases over the last year, including those in Philadelphia and Halifax, North Carolina. Accidents like these often cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a train derailment, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced train accident attorney as soon as possible. Call our offices 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (212) 962-1020 or toll free at (877) 675-4529 to speak to an attorney about your potential train derailment lawsuit.