DUPONT, WA – An Amtrak train derailed along I-5 in DuPont near Mounts Road, according to Washington State Patrol. Images from traffic cameras in the area show a train car in the middle of I-5, and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office reported that there were multiple casualties and injuries.
Amtrak said that the train was No. 501. According to Amtrak schedules, the train was heading toward Portland and had left Tacoma at 7:17 a.m. I-5 was completely closed in the area near the crash, between Lakewood and Lacey. Drivers are being asked to avoid the area and use SR 7 through Spanaway.
“We are aware of an incident involving Amtrak train 501. We will update with additional details as they become available,” Amtrak wrote on Twitter.
Monday was the first day of a new route for Amtrak trains in the area. Trains traveling along upgraded tracks along I-5 are able to travel at higher speeds, up to 79 MPH. At a meeting about the new higher speeds in early December, Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson said he was concerned the faster trains would be too close to pedestrians and cars.
The new route moves trains off the BNSF line that runs along Puget Sound and onto tracks used by Sounder trains. The reroute will allow Amtrak trains to shave about 10 minutes off the Portland-Seattle route. Using the BNSF lines, Amtrak trains have to slow down for single-track tunnels and curves.