Amtrak Cascades train derails in Washington, Casualties reported

This is truly a sad report and as the details are unfolding we don’t know too much at this time. The Amtrak Cascades service from Seattle to Portland left Tacoma just after 8am. Once it left Tacoma heading towards Portland, the train crossed an overpass and derailed.

According to CBS news:

… Authorities say “injuries and casualties” were reported. At this time, all lanes of traffic remain blocked on Interstate 5. 


I just rode this train two days ago on the reverse route from Portland to Seattle, and while it sounded squeaky and creaky at times, never did it cross my mind that something could be wrong.

Amtrak Cascades

Service between the two cities is suspended as the NTSB figures out what’s going on, and while some injuries are reported, currently there is no more information. 

Looking at the pictures it appears that the first business class cabin (Car 1) is attached to the locomotive, and the second business class cabin (Car 2) is hanging off of the overpass. It should be noted that when I rode the train, I was in Car 2, at the back no less. One of the passengers, Chris Karnes, reported that at least seven cars derailed:

“We had just passed the city of DuPont and it seemed like we were going around a curve,” Karnes said. “All of a sudden, we felt this rocking and creaking noise, and it felt like we were heading down a hill. The next thing we know, we’re being slammed into the front of our seats, windows are breaking, we stop, and there’s water gushing out of the train. People were screaming.” 

CNN and CBS seem to have up to date reporting on the matter, and also Amtrak is providing updates via a “service disruption” link on their page.

I truly hope that everyone is OK and we can find out what happened here. I loved my trip on the train and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again, but this certainly is scary.

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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1 Comment

  1. Truly scary experience.  I love riding the trains because that means I don’t have to drive… and you don’t have to stop if you want something to eat or have to use the restroom.  Hopefully, it was the train going too fast and not a case of someone intentionally trying to derail the train.

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