Amtrak employee struck, killed on tracks near Bowie State

John McNamara
Contact Reporterjmcnamara@capgaznews.com

An Amtrak engineering worker was struck and killed by an Amtrak train about a half-mile north of the Bowie State University MARC station Tuesday morning.

The accident happened near the west end of the university campus.

Crews from Prince George’s County Fire/EMS responded to the call at about 9 a.m., according to Mark Brady, a department spokesman.

The train was taking passengers along Amtrak’s 86 route, part of its Northeast Corridor service. It operates Monday through Friday between Richmond, Virginia, and South Station in Boston.

Trains on the route stop at the New Carrollton station and again at the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport station, but not at Bowie State.

The Bowie State station is, however, part of the MARC commuter rail route, known as the Penn Line that runs between Washington, D.C.’s Union Station and Perryville in the northeast corner of Maryland.

At the time of the incident, there were 251 passengers were on board the train. Those passengers were transferred to train 182 after a delay of about 90 minutes, Amtrak officials said.

There were no reported injuries to passengers or crew members. The tracks were re-opened at about 3 p.m., with some train passengers experiencing residual delays, acccording to Amtrak officials.

The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed the victim was an Amtrak employee and sent a pair of investigators to survey the scene.

”We are deeply saddened by the death of an Amtrak engineering employee this morning in Bowie, Maryland. We are working closely with the FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) and NTSB to thoroughly investigate the details of this incident,” Amtrak spokeswoman Beth K. Toll said in a statement.

“We request you please respect the privacy of the family and co-workers during this difficult time.”

Pedestrian fatalities on the rail line between Washington and Baltimore occur infrequently.

Two CSX workers were killed in June by an Amtrak passenger train near Union Station after they got off their own train to check a problem. The conductor and trainee were hit by Amtrak train No. 175, which had 121 passengers on board.

A 51-year-old Colorado man trespassing on the tracks was killed in April 2017 when he was struck by an Acela Express train in Odenton. That train runs between Washington, D.C., and Boston. There were 170 people on board the train and no injuries were reported among them.

In June 2016, a 25-year-old Laurel man was hit and killed by a CSX train in the 100 block of Lafayette Avenue at Bowie Road in Laurel. It was unclear why he was on the tracks.

A Bowie teenager was killed in May 2013 when she was struck by a CSX train near Lafayette Avenue and Queensbury Road in Riverdale. The 17-year-old was walking down the center of the northbound tracks. The engineer told police he sounded his horn several times to warn her, but she had headphones on and never heard the train approaching from behind her.

In August 2012, two 19-year-old women near the tracks in Ellicott City were killed when a CSX train carrying coal through derailed.

In 2010, a 41-year-old man from Odenton was killed when he was hit by a southbound Amtrak train near Old Railroad Avenue in Hanover.

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