Amtrak Train Speeding at Time of Derailment

CHICAGO — An Amtrak train that crashed into the rear end of a Norfolk Southern freight train last week was speeding, the NTSB said.

Amtrak’s Pere Marquette was traveling 40 mph when it should have been traveling 15 mph Though the speed limit is usually 79 mph along that stretch of track, the Amtrak should have slowed to 15 mph because of a signal.

“Part of our investigation is to figure out why that signal was not obeyed,” The Associated Press quoted NTSB Vice Chairman Robert Sumwalt as saying.

“We’re not here to point fingers,” Sumwalt said, according to The AP. “We’re here to find out what happened so we can keep it from happening again. … This is the very beginning of this investigation.”

The Pere Marquette was traveling from Grand Rapids, Mich., to Chicago when it struck a Norfolk Southern freight train in south Chicago at about 11:30 a.m. local time. The Amtrak train had one engine and three cars.

The Amtrak train’s locomotive derailed, while the rest of the train remained upright and on the rails.

At the time of the derailment, there were 187 passengers and six crew members on board the train. Thirty injuries were reported, including five serious injuries to Amtrak crew members.

— News Wire