Vermonter passengers recall derailment experience - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Vermonter passengers recall derailment experience

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It was a frightening ride for dozens of passengers aboard Amtrak’s Vermonter line as the train derailed.

Donna Lee Carlson described what was going through her mind the moment the train she was traveling on came off the tracks.

"At first I thought that a car was on the track and had been struck by the train. I was a little surprised and concerned for people who were on the train," explained Carlson.  

Amtrak said the train was en route from Saint Albans, VT and was expected to make a stop in Springfield, when it reportedly hit a rock slide on the tracks.

"I felt he put his breaks on, then we hit something and the train derailed," said passenger Janice Bradley.  

One locomotive and one passenger car went over an embankment, and three other cars left the track but remained upright.

At least seven people were injured and taken to local hospitals for examination. Authorities said they suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Officials said there is no reason to believe there was any negligence on anyone's part. Calling the incident a freak accident.

It also disrupted Amtrak services throughout the day.

Many passengers hoping to travel by rail were forced to travel by road. Amtrak placing them on coach buses to reach their destinations.

"My daughter-in-law dropped me off at White River junction station and we waited and waited and then we heard the news which was kind of upsetting. However, Amtrak was great in keeping us informed and they were very kind," said traveler Jane Panitz  

As for those Vermonter passengers, after a long day there is only one thing they want to do.

"I think just sit down and relax for a bit,” said Carlson.

Amtrak said their rail line from Vermont to Springfield will be out of services for a couple days, if not weeks as crews work to repair the broken tracks.

Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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