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Amtrak investigating two derailments

By Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – Weather is the likely cause of two partial derailments of an Amtrak passenger train that stops in St. Louis.

Two cars of the Texas Eagle, which runs from Chicago to Los Angeles with a stop in San Antonio, went off the tracks around 9pm Thursday just north of the downtown Amtrak station. The train had also partially derailed early Wednesday just outside of Little Rock.

The cause of both derailments is under investigation, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said, but the cold weather in both locations could have been a factor.

"Cold weather can cause changes to the metallurgy of the rails themselves or certainly the areas around switches, or there can be snow and ice pack around switches," he said.

None of the cars ever completely left the track during the low-speed derailments, Magliari said.

"The trains always had power, always had light, always had heat and always had water systems," he said. "We simply wound up cutting away from those vehicles that lost contact with the tracks and continuing on."

Neither accident resulted in serious injuries, but both trains were delayed several hours.