An Amtrak train carrying 33 passengers from Raleigh, North Carolina (NC) to Charlotte hit a large truck at a Morrisville train crossing, according to a recent report by WRAL News. Luckily, no one was injured in the crash, although the Amtrak’s locomotive suffered damage that put the train out of service. A bus arrived shortly after the accident to take the Amtrak passengers to their destination. Amtrak officials are still investigating what caused the crash.
According to the National Association of Railroad Passengers, over 25 million people ride Amtrak trains each year, logging over five billion miles of riding the rails. Although railroads have a lower injury rate for passengers than cars, about 90 accidents involving an Amtrak train occur each year, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis. As of August 2010, two Amtrak train accidents each have occurred in Virginia and North Carolina, resulting in a total of 21 injuries.
Since there is little a train passenger can do to prevent a train crash, those responsible for safety and maintenance on Amtrak and other train lines need to pay close attention to ensure that the trains, the tracks, and the signals on the train lines are all working properly. Proper care must also be given to ensure that Amtrak engineers know how to prevent train accidents and how to respond if an accident occurs.
Anyone driving through a train intersection should also pay careful attention to the signals and make sure they get a good view of the track in both directions. Driving cautiously around train tracks is one way that drivers can help protect themselves and train passengers from the dangers of a train crash.