Private: Message from Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner on the Southwest Chief Train 4 Derailment

We are deeply saddened by yesterday’s tragic event and mourn those who lost their lives. For those who helped others, we want to express our heartfelt appreciation. This includes our hard-working front line team members, numerous local authorities and emergency personnel who quickly mobilized to help all at the scene, and our customers, including a group of Boy Scouts onboard who jumped in to help others.

We are committed to cooperating fully with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), local law enforcement, response agencies, and all the other organizations with an official role in the investigation and response and that share our urgency to do everything we can to prevent future accidents. This incident is a critical reminder about the importance of exercising extreme caution around railroad tracks and crossings. As the NTSB works hard to investigate this incident, we remain committed to helping our passengers, crew, and the families of those who were affected in any way. In addition to myself and other Amtrak leadership, our Incident Response Team is here in Mendon to offer our support in every way that we can. A Family Assistance Center has been established to address the needs of our passengers, their families and loved ones. To support those who have been hospitalized, nurse case managers will be available on site.

We are indebted to and thank the first responders, hospital staff and law enforcement for their immediate and ongoing help. This includes the Red Cross, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri State Park Rangers, Missouri State Fire Marshals, and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency; Law Enforcement from Chariton, Linn, Macon and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office; the Brookfield and Macon Police Departments; and Emergency Management Services from Chariton, Linn, Randolph, Livingston, Macon, Howard, Carroll and Caldwell Counties. We also thank Northwestern High School here in Mendon for providing shelter for our customers and the community members who brought food to the school and transported passengers to the hospitals – this is a special community, and we thank you for all you have done.

We also want to extend thanks to the FRA for assisting with the response, investigation and continuously working to improve rail safety, along with BNSF, the track owner, for quickly mobilizing to assist with the emergency response and recovery of the route.

Please join us in continuing to keep everyone impacted by yesterday’s events in your thoughts.

Stephen Gardner
Amtrak Chief Executive Officer