27 July 2006

Breaking: train derails near Klamath Falls

A freight train derailed near Klamath Falls, with 38 cars into the water, according to an Amtrak employee. I am not sure if this is a freight train or a passenger train, but according to sources, FEMA is involved and is not allowing rail traffic through for at least 12 hrs.

Amtrak is turning its Coast Starlight train (#11) back at Salem, OR to return to Portland for the night.

Update: the Klamath Falls Herald and News just found out and has more detail. The paper learned about the accident when an Amtrak passenger called them at 9:30pm, hours after the incident!

Here's the article: UP freight derails 38 cars: A 38-car train derailment Thursday evening 15 miles north of Klamath Falls blocked a main line, delaying rail traffic, including Amtrak service, for an undetermined time.

According to Amtrak sources, the line will be closed for 24-48 hours.

Here's more on how the paper learned about the accident: Attempts to reach an Amtrak spokesperson Thursday night were unsuccessful. But an Amtrak passenger used her cell phone to call the Herald and News at 9:45 p.m. reporting that the Coast Starlight 14 passenger train was terminating service. The train was headed north from just outside of Paso Robles, Calif.

I'm on Amtrak #11, and I broke the story. A passenger on Amtrak #14 was the source for the paper. In this connected age, it's the passengers and not the authorities who tell the world what's going on.

(posting from Amtrak Coast Starlight #11 near Salem, OR)

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