The Cost of the Amtrak Derailment — Before Lawsuits
In the NTSB report released yesterday on the derailment of Amtrak 188, Amtrak put the cost of train damage at $27.14 million, plus a few more million for the damage to the train tracks.
Here are the figures broken down:
Locomotive = $7,227,000
5 passenger coaches at $2,750,000 each = $13,750,000
Business Coach = $3,163,000
Café Coach = $3,000,000
Train total: $27,140,000
Amtrak Track Department = $1.65 million
Amtrak Electric Traction Department = $1.75 million
Amtrak Structures = $300,000.00
Conrail Track Department = $330,000.00
Track total: $4,030,000
Grand Total: $31,170,000
In the days following the derailment, Amtrak made the repairs to the track, adding Automatic Train Control (ATC), a system used to slow speeding trains. However, as of now, Amtrak has not purchased another train to balance the loss of Train 188. A representative from Amtrak said he’s unsure whether the they will be making repairs to the damaged cars and returning them to service.
And Then There Are the Lawsuits:
Victims of the derailment have filed suit against Amtrak (and their attorneys took issue yesterday with the testimony of engineer Brandon Bostian). The Washington Post reported that in December, congress passed a bill to raise the $200 million cap on train accidents (an old prevision passed in 1997 to keep railroad companies in operation) to $295 million. The bill is retroactive to account for the May derailment. While it’s less than the $500 million cap that Sen. Bill Nelson proposed, this could still set the service back by almost another $100 million. (It’s uncertain how much will be covered by Amtrak’s insurance).
Either way, the derailment and its aftermath — which according to the NTSB could have been prevented with a simple signal change — is shaping up to be quite a large financial hit for one of America’s largest railroad companies.
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