Amtrak train derails at Union Station, no injuries reported
Officials say no injuries were reported after an Amtrak train derailed at Union Station in Washington, D.C., Tuesday morning.
The D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department said in a tweet that its fire units were responding to a derailed Amtrak train in the tunnel at the entrance to Union Station, which serves as a transportation hub for Amtrak trains, metro trains and buses in the D.C. area.
The department said that the initial report was “minor in nature,” and there were no reported injuries in the occupied train.
Vito Maggiolo, spokesperson for D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services, said in a statement to The Hill that the department received the call at about 9:11 a.m., and responders arrived to find the two front cars of the train derailed.
“Firefighters were sent into the tunnel and boarded the train to check on the condition of the passengers and provide a calming presence,” he said in a statement. “We found the only patient was an Amtrak employee who suffered a minor medical emergency and was transported to an area hospital.”
He said that the passengers were moved to the railcars that were not impacted. Maggiolo noted that the derailed cars were uncoupled and the remainder of the cars were taken to L’Enfant Station, where additional responders were waiting to assist passengers from the train and escorted passengers to a nearby Holiday Inn for “further rest and cooling.”
An Amtrak spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill that the Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 86 derailed about 8:47 a.m. Tuesday as it was “traveling at a low speed in the tunnel south of Washington Union Station.” The spokesperson noted that the train remained upright, and one employee was “transported for evaluation” after the initial report said there were no injuries on board.
“Amtrak staff immediately responded alongside local first responders to assist customers onboard the train, as well as those waiting to board at Washington Union Station,” the spokesperson said. “All customers from Train 86 were transported to the L’Enfant VRE station and provided alternate transportation to Washington Union Station.”
The spokesperson added that the crew will be inspecting the area and will be working to re-rail the lead locomotive and coach car.
Amtrak issued a service alert Tuesday about 9 a.m. saying trains operating between Washington and Alexandria, Va., were halted due to the incident.
“Trains operating between Washington D.C and Alexandria are stopped due to a disabled train in the tunnel blocking the tracks south of Washington,” the alert stated. “Rail service in and out of Washington is currently impacted. Delays are expected. We will update as more information becomes available.”
This is not the first time an Amtrak train derailed outside of Union Station. In 2018, the D.C. Fire and EMS Department helped nearly 200 passengers off an Amtrak train that had derailed outside the station.
A spokesperson for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) told The Hill that its personnel is on-site to do an initial evaluation, but said it is “too soon to say if this morning’s incident meets the threshold for a formal FRA investigation.” The National Transportation Safety Board told The Hill that it would not be conducting an investigation.
Updated at 3:47 pm.
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