WASHINGTON – The Federal Railroad Administration is launching its own investigation into the Saturday derailment of Amtrak’s westbound Empire Builder in northern Montana.
Specifically, FRA has sent a team of 18 dispatched to the scene consisting of technical experts in track, motive power & equipment, signal and train control, and operating practices. The agency has initiated a thorough forensic investigation and analysis in support of the National Transportation Safety Board.
“The Federal Railroad Administration extends our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our sincerest hopes for the full and speedy recovery of those injured as a result of the derailment of Amtrak’s Empire Builder Train #7,” FRA Deputy Administrator Amit Bose says in a statement. “Our number one focus is safety and we are committed to taking all steps necessary to prevent a similar event from occurring again.”
The incident occurred about 4 p.m. at the east end of Buelow siding, according to photos of the scene. Buelow is located at milepost 1015.8, between Havre and Shelby on BNSF Railway’s Hi Line Subdivision.