Amtrak’s Southwest Chief is the only passenger train to use the tracks near Mendon

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Each day, two passenger trains cross the level crossing near Mendon, Mo., where Amtrak bound for Chicago Southwest leader crashed into dump truck Monday, killing four people and injuring dozens more.

Amtrak runs the Southwest Chief round trip between Chicago and Los Angeles once a day, so both trains are the eastbound and westbound trains on this route.

Three people on the train died and the driver of the dump truck also died in the accident, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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According to a US Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration Grade Crossing Inventory Form from September 2020, a total of about 58 trains – mostly freight trains – use the crossing per day at a maximum speed of 90mph.

BNSF is the primary operating railroad for the crossing, which is used only by BNSF and Amtrak, according to the inventory form.

The crossing has two crossed “Railway Crossing” signs on either side of the tracks, but no other safety features. There is also no commercial power available at the crossing.

The crossing was registered on a crossing list online for improvement from the Missouri Department of Transportation National Freight and Railway Plan Report four months ago.

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It is not part of a quiet zone, so trains are required to honk their horns as they approach and cross the crossing, which is not used by school buses, according to the inventory report. federal.

Jose P. Rogers