Posted by SAR Connecta on December 18, 2017 
What a terribly sad story, specially for this time of you. Condolences for the families and friends of the lost ones and I'm very glad to hear that your friends and crew member on board survived.
Posted by David Meyer on December 18, 2017 
Being an avid fan of the rails, Iím a little confused by the rail looking pretty darn good for that kind of derailment. Saddened of course by the loss of life and all the injuries...appears that about 3 people walked away not hurt. News outlets (for what its worth-not much) saying only 1 crew member up front....
Posted by John Dziobko on December 18, 2017 
good coverage Steve. When I was 17 I wandered up on the scene of the PRR's Broker derailment, a train that was traveling too fast through a shoefly. Those were the only color photos of that accident I've ever seen. They are here in the database, photo 169804 and 169805
Posted by Kevin Madore on December 18, 2017 
I know it wouldn't be popular, but I'd like to see seatbelts available on rail coaches. There's a lot of steel there to deform and absorb the impact in an accident like this, but it does the occupants no good unless they are secured to it. Most motor coaches have belts now and when I ride, I use them. Maybe it is time to think about it on the rails too. It gave me a sickening feeling when I saw the first images of this on TV today. Prayers that those injured will recover.
Posted by Jeff Sell on December 18, 2017 
Thanks for the update. Your information was much better than the speculation that occurred on the news channels all day long. Prayers on the way for your friends!
Posted by Sean Mathews on December 19, 2017 
Steve, thanks for the write-up. I know this likely was not an easy photo to take, but none the less an important documentation. It could have been so much worse. I am not going to guess what happened. That will be determined by a very intense investigation. All I can say is that it is sad (possibly) 6 perished, but based on the type of accident, it's fortunate the number is that small.
Posted by Greg Mross on December 19, 2017 
80mph in a 30 mph according to the NTSB. PTC installed but not activated according to the RR. Did this occur in the first mile or two of the new route? What was the consist? There appear to be cars trailing the P42.
Posted by Rich Clark on December 19, 2017 
What a dreadful tragedy and my prayers go out to all involved! Steve, it looks like federal investigators have some of their answers as by this report that came out this morning, " The train that careened off a bridge outside Tacoma, Washington, killing three people was traveling at 80 mph on a 30-mph stretch of track, federal investigators confirmed late Monday. During a late-night briefing with reporters, NTSB board member Bella Dinh-Zarr added that Train 501 of Amtrak's Cascades service from Seattle headed south to Portland, Oregon, was carrying 80 passengers, three crew and two service personnel. She said it was "too early to tell" why the train was travelling at 80 mph. " Now they have to fill in the blanks and if your 79 mph max speed is right then the train was over that too. This accident shows how many "experts" show up on the early news feeds and so on that really have false information and social media has made light of this along with other outlets. The investigation is far from over but I wanted to share what the "breaking news" was this morning and lets hope it was edited correctly with facts.
Posted by Jeff Swanson on December 19, 2017 
Thanks for the post Steve. Having been in LE for 30 years (and retired for 12), I've learned to let the photography tell the stories, make my own interpretations, and turn the sound/commentary off - especially regarding the media. Thoughts and prayers.
Posted by FSWood on December 19, 2017 
Was telling my parents about your post. They offer their concerns and prayers.
Posted by Kellhound on December 19, 2017 
Greg, the accident happened less than a mile from the south end of the new route. The P42 was the trailing unit, the train-set was 12 cars long, and the lead locomotive was a brand new Siemens Charger.
Posted by onr1600 on December 19, 2017 
What a dreadful tragedy and my prayers go out to all involved!
Posted by Troy Nolen on December 19, 2017 
Am I the only one who thinks it's in particularly poor taste for the website to be profitting off the deaths of others... there's no way I would even take a pic of, let alone submit a picture of an accident where so many people died and were seriously injured...
Posted by Steve Carter on December 20, 2017 
Troy: First it was difficult for me to take photos of the wreck with the knowledge that one or more of my friends might still be in there. That said, I viewed my role as a photo journalist and attempted to include in the caption information to help stabilize unfounded rumors and theories. And with that said, do you extend your criticism to TV News, Newspapers, and all other news media outlets? Each and everyone of them profit from video and images of tragedy everyday. Do you really want to live in an environment where you know nothing of any tragedy involving death and/or injuries? For even a media of printed word would still be making a profit off the tragedy.
Posted by Jeff Swanson on December 20, 2017 
Troy: I understand your way of thinking, but TOTALLY agree with Steve! I live 7 states away from the tragedy. When I heard it happened, I was hoping that someone would post something here who understood railroads well enough to provided a 'knowledgeable' view of the incident (ie: non-media). Anyone who has been a regular visitor to this site over time should understand that there are a few contributors who have earned the right to express their views of such an incident and Steve Carter is one such contributor. Thanks again Steve!
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