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Only 1 passenger train, Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, uses tracks near Mendon, Missouri

Amtrak southwest chief derail mendon missouri 2
Amtrak southwest chief derail mendon missouri
Posted at 12:38 PM, Jun 28, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On a daily basis, two passenger trains travel through the railroad crossing near Mendon, Missouri, where Amtrak’s Chicago-bound Southwest Chief crashed into a dump truck Monday, killing four people and injuring dozens more.

Amtrak runs the Southwest Chief round trip between Chicago and Los Angeles once per day, so the two trains are the east- and westbound trains on that route.

Three people on the train have died and the driver of the dump truck also died in the crash, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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According to a U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration Crossing Inventory Form from September 2020, a total of approximately 58 trains — mostly freight trains — use the crossing per day with a maximum speed of 90 mph.

BNSF is the primary operating railroad for the crossing, which is only used by BNSF and Amtrak, according to the inventory form.

The crossing has two crossbuck “Railroad Crossing” signs on either side of the tracks, but no other safety devices. There is also no commercial power available at the crossing.

The crossing was included on a list of crossings in line for improvement in the Missouri Department of Transportation’s State Freight and Rail Plan report four months ago.

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It is not part of a quiet zone, so trains are required to blow their horns as they approach and pull through the crossing, which is not used by school buses, according to the federal inventory report.