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Passenger Train Derails In US Killing At Least Six People

Authorities have confirmed that an Amtrak train has careered over an overpass and fallen onto a highway in the US overnight killing at least six people, with the death toll expected to rise.

The train was making its first-ever run across a new route just south of Seattle when it derailed at around 8am Monday local time (3am Tuesday AEDT).

Amtrak have said that seventy-eight passengers and five crew members were on board the train during the terrifying ordeal.

A spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's office, Ed Toyer, has said that multiple fatalities have been confirmed.

"At this point we're just told there's multiple fatalities," he said to reporters.

Mr Toyer also said that several cars on the highway below were also struck when the train fell over the overpass.

"Multiple cars and trucks were struck by train cars that left the train tracks and went down onto the road," he said.

"The people that were in all the vehicles, even though when you see the pictures it's pretty horrific, at this point nobody in any of the vehicles is a fatal."

The priority at this point in time is to get medical attention to those injured and a makeshift hospital has been set up on the side of the road at the scene of the accident.

Amtrak have since released a statement saying that the affected locomotive was Train 501 travelling from Seattle to Portland.

This was an inaugural run on a new route designed to make travel for passenger trains quicker by removing them from a route along Puget Sound.

The train departed from seattle at around 6am local time and was due to arrive in Portland at around 9:30am.

It was travelling at 130.5km/h just moments before it derailed according to an Amtrak data application. It is believed that the maximum speed allowed along the particular stretch of track, known as Point Defiance Bypass, is 127km/h.

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