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The Legacy of Amtrak
Amtrak got its start as America’s railroad when cars and planes began to take over the transportation industry. American citizens were no longer using passenger trains due to the increased use of commercial airliners. Before Amtrak’s inception, 20 individual private passenger train companies were competing to acquire the dwindling train-using population. However, the American government realized that 20 individual passenger train companies would result in the end of the passenger train industry altogether.
Rather than allow that to happen, the government passed the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970 (RPSA). This act created the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, commonly known as Amtrak. The goal of this was to consolidate all of the passenger train operations under one roof, allowing private railroads to sell their businesses to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. Eventually, all 20 of the private railroad companies in existence sold their operations to Amtrak, and Amtrak became the sole proprietor of all intercity passenger rail travel in America.
Amtrak Trains Are Old
Amtrak has been given tens of billions in federal money—but has never had a self-sustaining year of operation. It's no wonder that Amtrak is beginning to have more accidents.
The government only has so much money to provide Amtrak, and Amtrak has no money to make suggested improvements to certain tracks or trains. For this reason, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the number of Amtrak accidents continue to rise as “suggestible” Amtrak rails or trains go unfixed due to monetary issues. For example, Amtrak cannot upgrade its own infrastructure.
In fact, almost 50% of Amtrak’s passenger cars were made before 1980. There are 454 Amtrak train cars from 1975 that are still in use every day, meaning that these 42-year-old train cars carry thousands of occupants daily. Ironically, in September 2017, Amtrak announced that they were overhauling the interior designs of these train cars, alluding that these trains will continue to be used for the foreseeable future.
Amtrak’s Recent Accidents
At the beginning of February 2018, an Amtrak accident in South Carolina ended in 2 fatalities and injured an additional 116 passengers. Only a week before this incident, an Amtrak accident in Virginia ended with a fatality and 2 injuries when a garbage truck was struck on the railroad tracks. Another week before this incident, a couple in North Carolina was killed when their SUV was hit by an Amtrak train. In December 2017, an Amtrak train in Washington derailed from its tracks and killed 3 people, injuring an additional 100 passengers. When totaling up the injuries and fatalities, Amtrak accidents killed 8 people and injured an additional 218 in under two months.
Call (888) 493-1629 for a Free Review of Your Amtrak Accident Case
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Amtrak accident, you may be eligible to receive just compensation in a personal injury claim. Your injuries were not caused by anything you did, and it is unfair for you to face medical bills due to the negligence of others. If you are interested in hearing more about personal injury claims involving Amtrak accidents, contact us to have your case heard by one of our train accident attorneys.
Arnold & Itkin can help you recover. Find out more today by calling (888) 493-1629.