Feb 5, 2018

A string of Amtrak crashes brings safety concerns

Derailed train

An Amtrak passenger train derailed off a bridge and onto an interstate highway in Washington state in December. Photo: David Ryder / Bloomberg via Getty Images

A spate of fatal accidents spotlights a struggling rail service, per USA Today's Trevor Hughes.

The big picture: Amtrak has seen three high-profile accidents, which killed a total of 6 people and injured nearly 200, since December. "While all three of Amtrak's most recent crashes [in as many months] appear to have different causes, some critics are calling for changes to the organization's approach to safety."

  • "Amtrak remains popular with riders and lawmakers from both rural and urban areas."
  • "Still, Amtrak ... is under the gun. President Trump has proposed slashing Amtrak's annual subsidy and forcing it to cut unprofitable long-haul trains in favor of services like the Acela."
  • "Railroad advocates point out that trains remain far safer than cars, which killed 37,000 people last year across the country. "
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