(Newington, Connecticut – January 24, 2020)
A Springfield, MA-bound Amtrak passenger train struck a railroad maintenance truck Friday morning about 11:30 AM, EST about eight miles north of New Haven, CT in the community of Newington. At the time of the collision, the train was traveling toward its destination with 64 passengers and four crew members aboard. Six passengers required medical care, with three treated at the scene and three others transported to an area hospital.
The maintenance truck was unoccupied a the time of impact. However, four workers were performing duties on or near the track, and two others jumped from the vehicle before the train struck it near Stamm Road.
The train, which was operating on Amtrak-owned tracks, was one of a daily total of two dozen passenger trains that operate on the New Haven line at speeds between 60 and 79 mph. The location where the collision occurred has a single main track paralleled by a siding.
The clear mistake in performing maintenance on active tracks in a signalized, rail traffic controlled situation could have resulted in a much more severe collision. Amtrak has been under fire for several years due to its laxity of maintaining a “culture of safety”.