Amtrak train derailed on new, faster route that drew concern

SEATTLE

SEATTLE (AP) — An Amtrak train derailed as it was making the first trip for paying passengers over improved tracks that promised a quicker run between Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

The train was traveling a faster route Monday that had been used occasionally by freight trains until a $181 million upgrade opened it to passenger travel.

Thirteen train cars jumped the tracks, killing multiple people on board and hitting several vehicles on Interstate 5 below.

While the cause of the crash was not known, even people who opposed the new route on safety grounds said the derailment surprised them.

Opponents said the route would expose car and pedestrian traffic to higher-speed passenger trains in Lakewood, a city just north of the crash.

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Brown reported from Billings, Montana.

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