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March 11, 2009 - 10:20am

Remembering the Amtrak derailment in Batavia

posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, disaster, amtrak.

On August 3, 1994 Batavia witnessed one enormous accident.

Amtrak train 49 was traveling nearly 80 miles per hour when it derailed just outside of Batavia, injuring 108 passengers and 10 crew members. The train was traveling from New York, N.Y. to Chicago, Ill when the accident happened.

These videos taken of the crash take some time to watch, but the accident was very well documented. It is just amazing that there we no fatal injuries.

Lori Ann Santini
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Last seen: 10 years 6 months ago
Joined: Jan 3 2009 - 11:44am
The NFTA has a very detailed report available for public review about the derailment. It gives great insight as to what happened and how well the outcome was. The derailment played a pivotal role in changing safety guidelines for the rail system. FYI. If you were not aware of it, Genesee County was given the NYS EMS Organization Provider of the Year Award for the response to the Amtrak Derailment. As a responder to the event, I still remember clearly riding on the back of a Conrail truck to the scene. As the mist thinned, it was enough to reveal cars turned over on their sides like toy trucks in a sand box. Suddenly the event became much bigger then the normal car wreck we were used to. I would have to believe that all the responders that day would have the same sentiment. It is also a beautiful reminder for us of a wonderful person who has left us. Dr. Diane London was working in the ED that day at Genesee Memorial (Now UMMC - North ST). They saw many of the patients that were wounded in the wreck. She was proud to say that it was one of her finest moments as a doctor. I apologize that I can't remember who was in the ED at St. Jerome. They also deserve recognition for a job well done. I have seen alot of carnage in my EMS days. That however will go down in my top 5. It is by divine intervention that no one died that day. Those people were given a second chance to make a difference in the world. I hope they are all well today.

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