BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – After a major Amtrak derailment left at least six people dead and sent more than 100 others to the hospital near Philadelphia Tuesday night, Amtrak passengers we talked to in Buffalo say they will continue ride the rails.
“Anything’s going to happen. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen,” said one passenger who got off an Amtrak train at the Buffalo-Depew station Wednesday morning, Derek Jackson. He had arrived from Cleveland and said he had no problems on his journey, and no worries about traveling by Amtrak again.
Another Amtrak passenger, Terry McKenrick, said she would have second thoughts about it after hearing the news of the derailment, but believed that should would likely ride the train again in the future. “But next time I’ll probably have to say a lot of prayers,” the Amherst woman laughed.
McKenrick was picked up at the Amtrak station by her mother, Lorraine, who said she was left shaken up by what happened in Pennsylvania. “I was up half the morning. I called Philadelphia because I didn’t know where my daughter was coming from,” Lorraine McKenrick recalled. “Philadelphia said that they checked the list and Terry wasn’t on that train…I just got on my knees and thanked God that she was okay.”
“They need to check these things more. You know that track where the train was going around, I saw this morning that was dangerous going around there,” Lorraine McKenrick added, explaining her concerns about anyone riding an Amtrak train now. After her own experience getting here, Terry McKenrick said she was not surprised that there was a big derailment. “Amtrak has to a better job at fixing their tracks because it was a really bumpy, jarring ride,” she said.
Derailments are actually not that uncommon for Amtrak. The passenger rail line has seen a few dozen derailments every year for the past decade, according to statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration. Over that same period, around a hundred people a year have died in accidents involving Amtrak trains, although most of those deaths involved people trespassing on the tracks.
Click here for more accident and safety statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis.