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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Statement of Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Amit Bose On the Derailment of Amtrak’s Empire Builder in Buelow, Montana

Sunday, September 26, 2021

“The Federal Railroad Administration extends our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our sincerest hopes for the full and speedy recovery of those injured as a result of the derailment of Amtrak’s Empire Builder Train #7. Our number one focus is safety and we are committed to taking all steps necessary to prevent a similar event from occurring again.

The Federal Railroad Administration is investigating this incident which occurred on Saturday, September 25, 2021 while Amtrak’s Empire Builder Train #7 was operating westbound from Chicago, IL to Seattle, WA on BNSF Railway track. Several coaches derailed approximately 3 miles west of Joplin, which is approximately 100 miles north of Great Falls, in the vicinity of Buelow, MT, with approximately 13 crew and 141 passengers on board.

Specifically, FRA has mobilized a team of 18 individuals dispatched to the scene consisting of technical experts from core safety disciplines including track, motive power & equipment, signal and train control, and operating practices. We have initiated a thorough forensic investigation and analysis in support of the National Transportation Safety Board examining all potential causal and contributing factors.”