Railway Reopens Following Amtrak Derailment, Victims Identified

JOPLIN, Mont. (NMB) – Operations of the BNSF railway in Liberty County resumed on Tuesday morning, around 60 hours after the Amtrak derailment on Saturday afternoon that killed three and injured dozens.

The National Transportation Safety Board released control of the track back to BNSF on Monday afternoon, and the track was rebuilt by crews within around 12 hours.

Amtrak Empire Builder service, which uses the BNSF line, is ready to resume service through Montana. Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari says the westbound Amtrak Empire Builder line will begin running through Montana again on Wednesday, while the eastbound line will run through Montana again starting on Thursday.

The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office has identified the victims as husband and wife Donald and Marjorie Varnadoe, ages 74 and 72, of Georgia. The third victim was 28-year-old Zachariah Schneider of Illinois.

As of Monday, five people remained hospitalized in Great Falls, all in stable condition. As of Tuesday morning, four people remain hospitalized in Great Falls, all in stable condition. The fifth patient has been released.

The NTSB continues to handle the investigation, and nothing has been ruled out as to what caused the derailment.


  1. Sorry for the loss of the passengers that were killed and injured. Iam so glad that there were not a large number of fatalities

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