Interesting. I am not sure where the north-end ownership boundary between Amtrak and Metra is, or where the dispatching boundary is. (These are often different, for operational convenience reasons). Thanks to DSS&A for specifying that the ownership boundary is at Clinton Street.Correct, Amtrak owns from just east of the Lumber Street Bridge through to Union Station, and AFAIk out the other side (north) of Union Station up to the diamonds where the tracks cross the leads coming out of Olgilvie Station. They also own a small bit of track running west, basically the wye they use to turn trains up until the start of BNSF territory. The dispatch office for all of this, as well as the Michigan line sits below the tower in the Lumber Street Yard.Also Chicago Union Station I believe.
Well, boo frickin hoo...lives were lost because of a CSX screwup. Let them wait...
I read the situation as the private railroads having a no fault agreement with Amtrak. If that is the case then Amtrak cannot sue for negligence. I am not a lawyer and have never read the agreement but if I read the news article correctly, the private railroads have zero liability and its all on Amtrak.Amtrak will pay, but there's nothing to say that Amtrak can't sue CSX in return.
I was under the impression that the very object of these clauses in Amtrak's contracts with the host railroads is that each side bears its own costs regardless of liability. Amtrak pays for its equipment, passengers, and crew, and the host pays for its tracks, equipment, freight, and crew, regardless of who was at fault. Someone will surely correct me if I am misunderstanding the arrangement.The indemnity clause only requires Amtrak to take fiduciary responsibility to their equipment, employees and passengers. In other words, they have to take full responsibility. Not clear - but not likely - that Amtrak would pay to repair the tracks and the damaged CSX equipment.
However, in this case, they *padlocked the switch in the wrong position*, and then either (a) signed the federal form stating that the switch had been restored to the right position and turned it in, or (b) the dispatcher released the track without getting the form. This is pretty gross negligence. There's a specific, federally mandated (!!!!) procedure to prevent this from happening, and as far as we can tell CSX employees didn't follow it. The rules they violated have also been in the rulebook of every railroad since the *1820s*. It's not a subtle or fine point of operation -- it's not an honest mistake.If I understand anything about the law (and I really don't,) I'd think Amtrak would have a hard time proving gross negligence when someone left a switch open. It is one thing they were told the switch was open and CSX said "Who cares," or failed to maintain the switch and it opened on its own.