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Amtrak Leaders Take Responsibility

Temp 2Amtrak's leaders have apologized for a train crash in Washington that left three people dead and about 100 more injured. Two of the men who died were train enthusiasts who traveled together to experience the new route.

In the past, Amtrak has been slow to apologize. This time, the response is better, yet not enough for some, as you see in this response on Twitter. Temp 1

The president and CEO's full message is below:

 To our customers,

 On behalf of everyone at Amtrak, I want to share that we are deeply saddened by the tragic event involving train 501 on December 18th. We are profoundly sorry for those who have lost a loved one, were injured, or are otherwise impacted by this horrible event. At this time, our primary concern continues to be caring for our customers and employees, and we are using every available resource to assist those affected. We share everyone’s sense of urgency to identify exactly what caused this to happen, and we continue to fully cooperate with the investigation being led by the NTSB.

 If you are traveling with us during the holiday season, I want to assure you that Amtrak remains committed to your safety. Our primary focus is and will always be getting you to your destination safely, comfortably, and efficiently. We are truly privileged to serve you and thank you for your continued patronage.

 Richard Anderson

As always in these situations, Amtrak provided regular service updates on its website, and this apology is an improvement. But, after several similar crashes, including those involving MTA trains, people want to know what will be done to prevent this from happening again.


  • What's your view of the president's message? How well does the message meet principles of apologies?
  • What else should the organization do now? How can it rebuild its image and assure people that Amtrak trains are safe?