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NTSB Releases Preliminary Report On Cimarron Amtrak Derailment

Sean Sandefur

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on an Amtrak train derailment that injured 28 people near Cimarron, Kansas, last month. Damages to the train and railroad will cost about $1.4 million.

The train was carrying 130 passengers and 14 crew members as it traveled from Los Angeles to Chicago. It derailed just after midnight on March 14.

The report indicates that the train was traveling at 60 mph, an acceptable speed for that stretch of BNSF railroad, before the engineer applied the emergency brakes. A forward-facing camera installed on the Amtrak train shows damage to the track just before the derailment.

The damage was likely caused when a large, commercial truck made contact with the tracks prior to the derailment. Investigators traced tire tracks and spilled cattle feed back to a truck owned by Cimarron Crossing Feeders LLC. The truck also had damage to its front bumper.

The NTSB report wouldn’t officially link the two incidents, and the final report won’t be available for at least a year.


Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter @SeanSandefur

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