The head of the Federal Railroad Administration says the fact no one was killed in the collision of an Amtrak passenger train and a commuter train in Boston proves that modern railroad equipment is crashworthy and saves lives.

FRA Administrator Gilbert E. Carmichael said that is true even though 264 people were injured when the passenger train from Washington derailed and rammed the commuter train in Boston's Back Bay station Wednesday."This is a beautiful demonstration of how an accident in the railroad industry can shake up a lot of people and injure people but also save lives; there were no fatalities," Carmichael said in an interview.

"This accident was dramatic; it was a messy accident," Carmichael said. "But the trains performed beautifully in protecting people. The equipment performed as it was designed. And it is designed to take it."

Carmichael noted that only a handful of those injured required hospitalization. Both locomotives derailed and were damaged beyond repair, he said.

Meanwhile, investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board said they were probing possible similarities between Wednesday's accident and a 1987 crash in which two commuter trains collided in the same Boston station.

Carmichael said inspectors from his agency also were looking into the cause of the derailment and collision.