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Amtrak Accidents

March 2007

The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (better known as Amtrak) is a for-profit corporation that operates intercity passenger rail services in 46 States and the District of Columbia, in addition to serving as a contractor in various capacities for several commuter rail agencies. Rail service in Alaska is operated by the Alaska Railroad Corporation. Amtrak was created by Congress in the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970 and incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1971, assuming the common carrier obligations of the private railroads (which found passenger service to be generally unprofitable) in exchange for the right to priority access of their tracks for incremental cost.

Amtrak (National RR Passenger Corp.)
Highway-rail Crossing Incidents by Railroad (Accidents)

                  2000    2001    2002    2003
Fatal          56         69        42        51 
Non Fatal   90         84        93        114

Amtrak (National RR Passenger Corp.)

Casualties by Railroad (not at highway-rail crossing)

                    2000    2001   2002    2003
Fatal             70        67       78         64
Non Fatal    18        37       28         22
The following is a list of Amtrak accidents that have occured in the last ten years:

May 6, 2003: An Amtrak train collides with a lumber truck in southeast Georgia, killing the engineer and the truck driver.

July 29, 2002: An Amtrak train carrying about 200 people derails near Washington, injuring 101 passengers.
April 23, 2002: A freight train plows head-on into a Metrolink commuter train in Placentia, Calif., during the morning rush hour, killing two people and injuring about 260.
April 18, 2002: An Amtrak Auto Train derails at Crescent City, Fla., killing four and injuring more than 150.
March 17, 2001: An Amtrak train carrying 210 people from Chicago to California derails in rural southwest Iowa, killing one passenger and injuring about 90 others.
Feb. 5, 2001: An Amtrak train collides with a freight train on the same track in Syracuse, N.Y., injuring 61 people.
Nov. 4, 2000: An Amtrak train derails after hitting a truck near Moorpark, Calif., killing the truck driver and injuring about 30 people on the train.
March 15, 2000: An Amtrak train derails alongside a cornfield near Carbondale, Kan., injuring 29 passengers.
Sept. 20, 1999: An Amtrak train rear-ends a freight train in a rail yard in Cumberland, Md., injuring 37 people.
March 15, 1999: An Amtrak train hits a truck and derails near Bourbonnais, Ill., killing 11 people and injuring more than 100.
June 18, 1998: A Chicago-bound commuter train slams into a tractor-trailer carrying large steel coils in Portage, Ind., hurling one of the coils into a rail car, killing three passengers and injuring four others.
February 16, 1996: Eleven people were killed and 26 injured when an Amtrak passenger train smashed head-on into a commuter train in Silver Spring, Maryland, near Washington.
October 9, 1995: A crew member was killed and 78 people were injured in the sabotage of an Amtrak train in the Arizona desert, southwest of Phoenix. The train was en route to Los Angeles from Florida.
June 8, 1995: Seven members of a farming family were killed when an Amtrak train slammed into their pickup truck at a rural crossing equipped with stop signs in eastern Oregon, near Nyssa.
May 16, 1994: An engineer was killed and more than 350 people were injured when a Florida-bound Amtrak train from New York derailed after hitting a truck near Smithfield, North Carolina.
September 22, 1993: In Amtrak’s deadliest accident, 47 people were killed near Mobile, Alabama, when a tugboat smashed into a river bridge, causing it to collapse as an Amtrak train was passing over. It was the deadliest accident in Amtrak’s 27-year history. The national railroad’s worst previous crash killed 16 people in January 1987 when an Amtrak train collided with the rear of three Conrail locomotives in Essex, Maryland.
March 17, 1993: Six people were killed and a dozen injured when an Amtrak train rammed a truck at a railway crossing near Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Train accidents, even minor ones, often result in serious injury. There are some critics of the railroad industry that say Amtrak is not spending enough money on safety standards. There are also critics that say the Federal Government is not doing enough to make the railroad industry enhance their safety programs. There is one thing that the critics do agree on which is the fact that our railways have a serious safety problem and it needs to be fixed before more inncocent people lose their lives.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a train accident you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form and a lawyer will contact you regarding your claim.

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