News & Reviews News Wire BNSF derailment in Arizona leads to Southwest Chief cancellations

BNSF derailment in Arizona leads to Southwest Chief cancellations

By | June 8, 2023

Southern Transcon disrupted by incident involving auto racks near Williams

Email Newsletter

Get the newest photos, videos, stories, and more from brands. Sign-up for email today!

Aerial view of derailed auto racks
Twenty-three cars of a BNSF train derailed Wednesday night, June 7, near Williams, Ariz. Coconino County Emergency Services via Facebook

Heavy damage resulted from the derailment, which also led to the cancellation of Thursday departures of the Southwest Chief. Coconino County Emergency Services via Facebook

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Twenty-three cars of a BNSF Railway train carrying new vehicles derailed east of Williams, Ariz., Thursday night, leading to cancellation of Amtrak Southwest Chief service through the area today, KAFF Radio reports.

The derailment involving a 167-car train occurred about 11:20 p.m., according to Coconino County Emergency Management. A BNSF representative told KPNX-TV that no injuries or hazardous materials were involved and the cause is under investigation.

According to the Amtrak Alerts Twitter feed, the westbound Southwest Chief that departed Chicago on Wednesday, June 7, terminated this afternoon at Albuquerque, N.M., while Wednesday’s eastbound departure from Los Angeles terminated in Needles, Calif. Today’s departures from Los Angeles and Chicago were cancelled, with an Amtrak representative telling KPNX that extra cars would be added to Friday’s departures in anticipation of increased demand.

No information was immediately available on an estimated reopening for the BNSF main line.

No injuries were reported in Wednesday’s derailment. Coconino County Emergency Management via Facebook

8 thoughts on “BNSF derailment in Arizona leads to Southwest Chief cancellations

  1. If it is correct this train earlier had a broken knuckle at Flagstaff, and at 167 cars, it must have been the train from hell to operate. I hope BNSF doesn’t accuse the crew of improper train handling.

  2. In the old days ((60 plus year ago), railroads would detour trains onto other lines. didn’t matter if they owned it or through trackage rights. How come Amtrak couldn’t detour down to El Paso and run via UP’s Sunset route to and out of Los Angeles.

    Forgot. Amtrak’s goal isn’t to please it’s customers or run any trains.

  3. Am just wondering Amtrak can not find extra cars to add to trains so more people can ride but they can find extras to add space to the Southwest Chief.All of this puzzles me.

  4. I have no idea bout what level of insurance coverage exists for derailments such as this. Given my own experience with insurance, I imagine that premiums will skyrocket, if they have not already done so. It would be interesting to see a cost/benefit analysis done by someone with knowledge and expertise to see if running shorter trains (assuming these are less likely to derail, a separate and important issue) would actually save money.

  5. Looks like very costly derailment. It is my understanding that all the automobiles involved in the derailment are scrap due to liability concerns, even if they don’t appear damaged..

    1. That’s true about the autos. And with all tracks out of service and the Transcon being as busy as it is, there will be trains backed up for miles in either direction waiting to get through.

You must login to submit a comment