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Partial Derailment Of Empire Builder Sends One To Hospital

Jerry Huddleston

An Amtrak train carrying passengers from Chicago to Portland and Seattle "partially derailed" in eastern Montana Monday afternoon.

One passenger has been taken to the hospital. His injuries are not considered serious.

Amtrak says two or three cars in the west-bound Empire Builder lost contact with the tracks near the Montana-North Dakota border. The train, carrying 117 people, was apparently crossing from one set of tracks to another at the time.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says passengers who were in the affected cars have been moved elsewhere in the train -- but otherwise, he says, the train is fine.

“The lights, the heat, the power, the toilets and the food service are operational," he says. "And we're serving dinner.”

Magliari says the train will continue on to its destinations in the Northwest once the tracks re-open. He adds the east-bound Empire Builder may also be delayed because of the track closure.

Amtrak and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, which owns the tracks, plan to investigate the exact cause of the incident.