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Amtrak

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NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joseph Boardman, chief executive of Amtrak, defended Amtrak's safety record Thursday, even as he lamented that Tuesday's deadly derailment may "have destroyed the confidence of people" who ride the railroad. He also said Amtrak has been underfunded for decades and must have more money to rebuild the century-old underpinnings of the Northeast Corridor, the nation's busiest rail route. He said Amtrak officials have not interviewed the engineer of Train 188, who apparently was operating the train at twice the 50-mile-per-hour speed limit entering a sharp curve in Port Richmond.
NEWS
March 19, 2011
Amtrak said Saturday afternoon that it had resumed service in the Northeast Corridor -- and on its Keystone Service, across Pennsylvania -- after a temporary suspension because of earlier power outages. "Passengers should expect residual delays along these routes," Amtrak said. SEPTA reported at 11:45 a.m. Saturday that delays on its regional rail lines were gradually coming to an end. It said it was resuming regular train service after earlier disruptions caused by Amtrak power problems.
NEWS
July 20, 2000
The Amtrak police force abides by local procedures for handling cases in which an individual appears to be a threat to himself or others. At 30th Street Station, we would abide by the Philadelphia police force's procedures. Rick Remington Amtrak spokesperson
NEWS
March 19, 2013 | By Paul Nussbaum, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Amtrak's board of directors has selected Anthony R. Coscia as its new chairman. Coscia, 53, of North Caldwell, N.J., is a real estate finance attorney who previously served as chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Coscia, appointed to the nine-member Amtrak board by President Obama in 2010, replaces fellow Democrat Thomas C. Carper, of Illinois, whose term expired Saturday.  
NEWS
December 24, 1986
Here we go again. Just a few months ago, the Congress rejected President Reagan's proposal to eliminate Amtrak, and he is back with the same idea. For whatever reason, the President seems obsessed with the desire to abolish Amtrak. The Inquirer's Dec. 16 editorial calling the selling of Amtrak a "fiscal fantasy" is right. Amtrak provides a vital service to our country, and by all means it should be continued in its present form. Amtrak and its employees have, since its inception, continuously improved service and productivity.
NEWS
April 18, 1989 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Amtrak wants a federal judge to invalidate the 39-m.p.h. speed limit set by Pennsauken on trains passing through the township. The National Railroad Passenger Corp., which operates Amtrak, sued the township Friday, arguing that federal regulations regarding train speeds supersede any state or local laws. Concerned about public safety in the wake of plans to build the so-called Gamblers' Express train line between Philadelphia and Atlantic City, Pennsauken passed an ordinance on Oct. 27, 1986, imposing the 39-m.
NEWS
June 12, 2008 | By Larry King INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
With highways clogged and gas prices soaring, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.) sees Amtrak as a commuting option for his Bucks County constituents who work in New York. Amtrak, however, does not share Murphy's view. The financially strapped national railroad sees its limited Northeast Corridor seats as best utilized by full-fare spot travelers, not daily commuters paying discounted monthly rates. Yesterday, those philosophies were set on a possible collision course when Murphy amended a funding bill to force Amtrak to consider increasing stops and lowering fares for riders using Bucks County's only Amtrak station.
NEWS
October 20, 1997 | by Frank Dougherty, Daily News Staff Writer
SEPTA has put on hold the emergency alternative service plan it had developed in anticipation of a strike Wednesday against Amtrak by the Brotherhood of Maintenance & Way Employes. "With Amtrak and the BMWE agreeing yesterday to a one-week extension of the Wednesday 12:01 a.m. strike deadline, we have suspended for the time being implementation of the plan," said Stephan Rosenfeld, SEPTA assistant general manager of public affairs. Plans to begin passing out pamphlets this morning at SEPTA regional rail stations to commuters on the R1 Airport, R2 Newark/ Wilmington, R5 Downingtown/Paoli, R6 Cynwyd, R7 Trenton and R8 Chestnut Hill lines have been suspended as well.
NEWS
February 24, 2005 | By NORMAN Y. MINETA
SOMETIMES in government, it takes more than words to bring about change. Earlier this month, President Bush, frustrated that Congress had not moved on his proposed reforms to the passenger rail system, said that subsidies for Amtrak should be eliminated starting Oct. 1. Since then, something interesting has happened: lawmakers, journalists and citizens are starting to talk seriously about the future of passenger trains in America. Many have been critical of the changes the president and I have proposed.
NEWS
October 11, 2012
Amtrak set another ridership record for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, carrying 31.2 million passengers. Ridership was up 3.5 percent from the previous year, while ticket revenue grew by 6.8 percent to a record $2.02 billion. The ridership record was the ninth in the last 10 years. The national railroad, created in 1971 after private railroads went bankrupt, required a federal subsidy of $1.42 billion for operating costs, capital expenses and debt-service. That was down from $1.48 billion in 2011 and $1.57 billion in 2010.
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NEWS
June 26, 2015
ISSUE | STORM DAMAGE Amtrak planning The stranding of Amtrak passengers for hours Tuesday night in Chester County on a train from Harrisburg appears to be an extra helping of Amtrak incompetence ("Half-million lose power as storms rip through," June 24). There is no special obstacle along the tracks in Chester County to de-boarding passengers and putting them on a bus or, at a minimum, delivering relief supplies. Or even sending a diesel to drag them to Philly. Amtrak's persistent refusal to prepare contingency plans for reasonably anticipated emergencies stands in contrast to cruise ship operators, who are required to have lifeboat drills.
NEWS
June 19, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Passenger rail operators working to install an upgraded safety system would get priority for federal grants and loans under a bill introduced Thursday by Sens. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and Roger Wicker (R., Miss.), the top lawmakers on a subcommittee overseeing rail lines. The grant tweaks are part of a measure providing four years of increased funding for Amtrak, and come after the derailment of Train 188 in Philadelphia brought new attention to Positive Train Control, an electronic monitoring system that national safety advocates say could have prevented the crash.
BUSINESS
June 19, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Northeast states and transit agencies - including SEPTA and NJ Transit - are being asked to pay more to maintain the heavily traveled rail corridor between Washington and Boston that they share with Amtrak. The new cost-sharing plan for the Northeast Corridor is due to take effect Oct. 1, although Massachusetts has objected. That state is upset about its higher bill and the prospect that the plan "may mark the beginning of a devolution of federal responsibility down to the states.
BUSINESS
June 17, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two newlyweds who were injured in the crash of Amtrak Train 188 on May 12 are the latest to sue the rail line and engineer Brandon Bostian in federal district court in Philadelphia, alleging that reckless operation of the train caused its derailment. Declan MacFarland, 34, and Kathryn Varnum, 33, were on their way to New York from Varnum's parents' home in northern Virginia when the train derailed. MacFarland had scheduled a job interview for the following day, and Varnum, an employee of a public relations firm, had intended to confer with a client.
NEWS
June 12, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The engineer of Amtrak Train 188 was not talking or texting on his cellphone before the train's deadly derailment at Frankford Junction on May 12, the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday. The finding supported statements by the lawyer for engineer Brandon Bostian that the engineer's cellphone was turned off and stowed in his bag during the trip. However, NTSB vice chair Tho "Bella" Dinh-Zarr told a Senate committee Wednesday that investigators have not determined whether the engineer was using an app or the phone for other purposes.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
In its latest response to the deadly May 12 Amtrak wreck at Frankford Junction in Philadelphia, the Federal Railroad Administration urged passenger railroads to better control train speed approaching tight curves and bridges. The safety advisory on Tuesday recommended that railroads identify locations where the speed limit drops by more than 20 m.p.h. entering the curve or bridge. Railroads should install automatic-braking circuitry at those locations to slow trains if the engineer doesn't, the FRA said.
NEWS
June 10, 2015
ISSUE | EARLY LEARNING Role for mentors I worry when I hear about the city's efforts to expand early-childhood learning that we are heading toward a socialist state in which subsidized child care will remove poor children from their homes to get their mothers into the workforce and off the dole ("Nutter, Kenney trumpet early-childhood learning," June 3). If anything helps at-risk children living in poverty, it is good parenting and a sense of hope. Instead, we're told that the answer is more child learning centers, agencies, day cares, and pre-K.
NEWS
June 4, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - Members of Congress pointedly questioned federal rail investigators Tuesday over why they still don't know whether the engineer operating Amtrak Train 188 was using his cellphone when it crashed in Philadelphia on May 12. Three weeks later, "I just don't understand what the holdup is," Rep. Barbara Comstock (R., Va.) said at the first congressional hearing into the derailment that killed eight people and injured more than 200. Adding to lawmakers' frustration was that the National Transportation Safety Board has access to the engineer's cellphone and password, but has not nailed down an answer.
NEWS
June 4, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday issued a preliminary report on the deadly crash of Amtrak 188, but did not reveal any new findings. The report does say that the crash - which killed eight passengers and injured more than 200 others - caused damages estimated by Amtrak in excess of $9.2 million. The NTSB, in releasing the report for a Tuesday hearing in Washington by the House transportation committee, reiterated the findings it reported earlier: - The seven-car train was traveling at 106 m.p.h.
NEWS
June 3, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Congressional Republicans plan to press Amtrak officials Tuesday on why the rail line did not move faster to install safety upgrades that could have stopped Train 188 before it derailed last month in Philadelphia. Among the key questions expected at a morning hearing on Capitol Hill - the first since the incident that killed eight passengers - are why Amtrak did not devote more resources to activate a new-age safety system, and why an older safety system was only in place on the southbound side of the curve in Port Richmond, and not the northbound side, where the train left the tracks.
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