One of the Amtrak trains that serves the Tri-State area, The Southwest Chief, was involved in a derailment today west of Ft. Dodge, Kansas shortly after midnight central time.  According to a news release from Amtrak today, the Amtrak Southwest Chief, Train 4, operating from Los Angeles to Chicago, derailed eight cars approximately 20 miles west of Dodge City, Kansas, on track owned and maintained by Burlington Northern-Santa Fe. This eastbound train was to make stops in Kansas City, Missouri, LaPlata, Missouri, Ft. Madison, Iowa as well as Galesburg, Illinois in our area.

Persons who were aboard this train at the time of the incident, and friends and family of those aboard this train, have been given a special number to call for information.  That number is 800-523-9101. There were 131 passengers and 14 crew members on board the train that had two locomotives and nine cars.

Local emergency personnel provided on-site response and transported 32 passengers to hospitals in Garden City and Dodge City. Of those transported, 29 passengers were discharged this morning. All other passengers were transported to the 4-H Recreation Center in Cimarron, Kansas and will be provided alternate transportation to their final destination.

The Red Cross and other relief agencies are on-site providing assistance to those passengers.  Amtrak is working with The National Transportation Safety Board who is investigating the cause of the incident.

Amtrak Southwest Chief Trains 3 and 4, will detour from Newton, Kansas, to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for trains originating March 13. Alternate transportation is being arranged for missed stops.