0729 train derailment

An Amtrak train on its way to Champaign-Urbana derailed Sunday afternoon near University Park.

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UNIVERSITY PARK — An Amtrak passenger train on its way to Champaign-Urbana derailed late Sunday afternoon.

Amtrak spokeswoman Christina Leeds told News-Gazette Media that Amtrak train 393 struck a vehicle on the tracks south of the University Park Metra Station at 5 p.m.

One locomotive and five passenger cars derailed, but all of them remained upright, according to Leeds.

There were no reported injuries to the crew or the approximately 297 passengers onboard.

“We are currently working to secure alternate transportation to get passengers to their destination,” Leeds said.

Brian Cudiamat of Champaign was one of the passengers.

“I was in one of the rear cars of the train, and we felt a sudden jolt of sorts,” Cudiamat said. “Then the train slowed down quickly.

“I was facing backwards and could see the train car behind me was not in line with where my car was. It was obvious we were no longer on the tracks.”

He was unaware of any injuries.“I helped most of the passengers get out of my car,” he said.

The train is also known as the Illini, which runs from Chicago through Champaign to Carbondale.



Tim Mitchell is a reporter at The News-Gazette. His email is tmitchel@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@mitchell6).