Amtrak derailment probe could effect schedule

From The Royal Oak Daily Tribune:

AP Photo

Amtrak service has been restored but may be behind schedule slightly as investigators try to determine why the eastbound Wolverine No. 350 train derailed Sunday near Niles, hurting two crew and seven passengers.

The train service between Chicago and Pontiac was disrupted Sunday following the 10:10 a.m. derailment, which took the entire train off the track, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said. There were 174 passengers and four crew aboard.

Amtrak cancelled service on the line Sunday and rerouted several hundred passengers who were booked on later trains to Michigan. Many who had visited Chicago for the weekend ended up taking trains to Toledo and then being moved to buses and driven to their rail destinations. Some passengers didn’t make it back to Dearborn, Royal Oak and Pontiac until early Monday.

Amtrak expected to run close to its normal timetable Monday, Magliari said, adding that trains will slow down for the half-mile stretch under investigation.

 “We’ll be at reduced speed through the area because people are out there working but it should have a minimal effect on schedules,” he said. “Everything is under investigation: the train, the operation, the infrastructure, the communication system the train used. Everything will be considered.”

The train consisting of two locomotives and four railcars derailed about two miles east of Niles. It remained upright and in-line. Of the seven passengers and two crew members taken to area hospitals, one was hospitalized overnight. Magliari would comment on the extent of the injuries except to say all were non-life threatening.

Amtrak is investigating the incident along with the Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. Amtrak owns, maintains and dispatches this track segment used by Amtrak Wolverine Service and Blue Water trains.