Chicago, IL

Amtrak Train to Chicago Derails Due to Collision with Tow Truck Leading to Major Travel Disruptions

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Only minor injuries resulted, officials said will have operations restored by Sunday
Photo byArisonUnsplash

An Amtrak train destined for Chicago experienced a derailment in Michigan after striking a large truck that was obstructing the tracks resulting in considerable travel disruptions for passengers on their journey to Chicago.

Late on Thursday, around 9:20 p.m. local time, the Amtrak train encountered a critical situation in New Buffalo Township, Michigan. The train collided with a tow truck and the car it was attempting to clear from the tracks, as reported by the Berrien County sheriff's office. While the train derailed it managed to remain upright, averting a more severe outcome.

Approximately 200 passengers aboard the train found themselves in an unexpected and frightening situation. Local authorities, in collaboration with Amtrak, promptly arranged for buses to transport the affected passengers to New Buffalo High School for further assistance.

To mitigate the inconvenience faced by passengers on their journey to Chicago, Amtrak organized alternative transportation. Buses provided by the rail service picked up the passengers around 12:40 a.m. local time. These buses covered the roughly 65-mile journey, allowing passengers to finally arrive in Chicago in the early hours of Friday.

Originally scheduled to reach Chicago at 11 p.m. on Thursday, the derailment significantly disrupted the travel plans of those on board. Despite the disruption, officials noted that the train remained upright after the derailment, though some damage was incurred.

The aftermath of the incident saw the train conductor and approximately 10 passengers receiving on-site medical attention for minor injuries, as confirmed by local law enforcement.

A comprehensive investigation into the circumstances leading to the train derailment is currently underway. Authorities are diligently working to determine the factors contributing to the collision with the tow truck and the subsequent derailment.

In response to the incident, Amtrak took necessary measures, including the cancellation of Michigan trains on Friday and most of Saturday. However, the rail service assured passengers of a return to normalcy by announcing plans to operate a full schedule of Michigan trains starting this Sunday. The first services are set to resume with Wolverine Trains 354 and 355 on Saturday afternoon/evening (Nov. 18).

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