May 27, 2015

How are Amtrak 188 passengers reclaiming lost belongings?

Company sorts goods based on positive and uncertain ownership

More than three weeks after the derailment of Amtrak Train 188, many of the more than 230 survivors board still have yet to recover all of their lost goods.

How does Amtrak plan to return those items, which could range from a laptop to a wardrobe to anything of great personal or monetary value?

According to BillyPenn, documents sent to Amtrak 188 passengers indicate that they are able to claim their belongings by emailing a form to a railroad employee who is aptly named Santa Green.

In a letter to passengers, Amtrak identified two forms of personal property recovered at the scene of the accident. "Associated items" are those that have been positively identified with a particular individual, while "unassociated items" are those without positive identification regarding ownership. In the latter case, Amtrak is working together with damage restoration company Blackmon Mooring to host a secure website where passengers can look at pictures and descriptions to claim their property.

Amtrak says that the identified items will be returned to their owners in multiple shipments and multiple packages over time.

The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the May 12 crash that left eight people dead and prompted several new safety regulations along the Amtrak's Northeast Regional Rail line.