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Mendon, Missouri, Amtrak Train Collision: What's next

Train derailment in Mendon, Missouri
Posted at 10:44 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 04:50:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Tuesday morning, dozens of federal investigators will arrive to the derailment site outside Mendon, Missouri, to piece together how an Amtrak train plowed into a dump truck at a railing crossing.

The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the charge.

"We’ll have specialists from mechanical, from signal systems, from operations and survival factors," Jennifer Homendy, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, said.

The evidence gathering is underway.

"We have asked Amtrak and including things like speed on the route," Homendy said. "What cameras might be on the train, to understand if there's forward facing or internal facing cameras."

While the investigation takes place, trains won't run be able to run on the track for days.

"Basically, go over the train itself with a fine-tooth comb, make sure everything was working correctly," Michael Callanan, a train safety consultant, said. "They will drug test the entire crew. They will assess the condition of the tracks the crossing."

Callanan is also a former Amtrak conductor and said crews do drill for derailments once a year.

"Most of that is classroom training occasionally, depending on where your stationed they will do a joint exercise with the fire rescue and you're in the field and they actually do a hands-on," Callanan said.

This was the second collision involving an Amtrak train in as many days.

Three people were killed, and two others were seriously injured Sunday trying to cross in front of an Amtrak train outside of Stockton, California.

That crossing, like the one Monday, didn't have any electronic signals.

"Just treat it like a stop sign look both ways. And if you see a train, just know it's not worth your life," Callanan said.

He said the NTSB will release a preliminary reports within in a few months. Their findings may take years.