NTSB points to Amtrak train speed in Chicago crash with NS train
National Transportation Safety Board investigators are looking at speed as the possible main contributor to an Amtrak train collision with a Norfolk Southern freight train in Chicago on Friday.
The crash injured more than 60 passengers and crew on board the Amtrak train. No crew were injured in the rear-ended 20-car NS train, according to various news reports.
The Chicago Tribune reported this morning that the Amtrak train operator failed to comply with a 15 mph restricting signal, noting another train was ahead. NTSB investigators believe the Amtrak train was traveling at about 40 mph. By the time the emergency brake system was deployed, the train hit the NS train at a speed of about 35 mph, the newspaper said.
The Amtrak train, which originated in Grand Rapids, Mich., was en route to Chicago’s Union Station when the accident occurred. The NS train was reportedly headed to Chicago from Elizabeth, N.J.
On Nov. 30, the NSTB dispatched a seven-member “Go Team” to investigate the collision. NTSB Vice Chairman Robert Sumwalt accompanied the team and will serve as the lead agency spokesman for the on-scene investigation.