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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
BUSINESS
January 19, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Top Amtrak officials collect salaries of $200,000 or more, according to records made public in response to Freedom of Information Act requests by The Inquirer. Amtrak, the taxpayer-subsidized national railroad, routinely refuses to divulge officials' salaries when it announces their hiring. Amtrak received about $1.3 billion in public money last year, including about $400 million for operating costs. These are the salaries of some officials hired in recent months, Amtrak disclosed in response to the newspaper's freedom-of-information requests: Gerald Sokol Jr., chief financial officer, $300,000.
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
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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BUSINESS
July 26, 2015 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Department of Transportation is investigating possible price gouging by five airlines in the days immediately after the May 12 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia that left thousands of regional commuters scrambling for travel alternatives. The department sent letters Friday to Delta, American, United, Southwest, and JetBlue, asking for price information for destinations between Washington and Boston during the time Amtrak service was suspended. Eight people died and more than 200 were injured when Train 188 derailed.
NEWS
July 22, 2015 | By Michael Vitez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Eli Kulp, one of America's most promising chefs, stepped into the quiet car of Amtrak Train 188 on May 12 and saw a new text message on his phone - a photograph. Kulp, who reinvented Fork and created High Street on Market in Philadelphia, has a 3-year-old son, Dylan, who loves trains. The boy loves Thomas the Tank Engine in particular, and Eli, like so many fathers, can name most of the Thomas & Friends characters. His favorite is Gordon, the big engine, since Eli is 6-foot-4, weighs 220 pounds, and is known in his Old City restaurants as "the Viking.
NEWS
July 20, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum and Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writers
Even SEPTA employees know they won't be able to easily get into and out of Center City amid the throngs when Pope Francis visits on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26-27. So what's a transit agency to do? Order 200 cots and portable showers for company headquarters on Market Street, to be used from Friday to Monday. "We will actually be sleeping in our offices," said SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams. Special papal visit transit passes go on sale online Monday for the hundreds of thousands of SEPTA and PATCO riders expected to pour into the city during the papal visit - including many people who must work that weekend.
NEWS
July 18, 2015 | By Michael Vitez, Inquirer Staff Writer
They came for Eli. Hundreds of food lovers and dozens of chefs helped raise more than $130,000 Thursday night at a fund-raiser at Fork Restaurant for Eli Kulp, one of the city's most promising and celebrated chefs, who was paralyzed in the May 12 crash of Amtrak Train 188. Thursday night's benefit - with $25,000 in donations from a silent auction - will be combined with $49,000 raised previously to help offset medical expenses for Kulp, 37,...
NEWS
July 15, 2015
A story Sunday about Amtrak management mischaracterized the railroad's fatal derailment in Philadelphia. It was one of Amtrak's worst accidents on the Northeast Corridor, not the worst. A story Monday on contributions to Pennsylvania Supreme Court candidates incorrectly reported the amount given by lawyer Neil O'Donnell. He contributed $7,442 to Supreme Court candidates this year.
BUSINESS
July 13, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
As it recovers from its worst accident on the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak faces frequent management turnover and structural change,in addition tochronic financial and political challenges. Former Amtrak executives say the turmoil at the top in recent years has disrupted railroad management and distracted employees from their daily duties. Steven Ditmeyer, a former Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) executive and now an adjunct professor in railway management at Michigan State University, said: "Rapid changes in management are never good, unless they're aimed at getting rid of nonfunctioning people.
BUSINESS
July 10, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday urged Amtrak to install "crash- and fire-protected inward- and outward-facing audio and image recorders" on all locomotives. The recommendation came in response to the May 12 derailment of Amtrak Train 188 in Port Richmond that killed eight passengers and injured 200. Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman said last month that Amtrak would install inward-facing video cameras in all of its 300 locomotives, starting with 70 Siemens locomotives now being put into service on the Northeast Corridor.
NEWS
July 1, 2015 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
The survivors of two men killed in the May 12 Amtrak crash in Philadelphia filed wrongful-death lawsuits Monday. The widow of Robert Gildersleeve Jr. alleged that Amtrak's negligence caused last month's derailment, which injured scores and killed eight passengers, including the Maryland executive. A second suit was filed Monday by Jacqueline Mercita Gaines of Plainsboro, N.J., over the death of her husband, James Marshall Gaines, an Associated Press video-software architect. Gaines, a 48-year-old father of two, died of a severe chest wound at Temple University Hospital a few hours after the crash.
BUSINESS
June 28, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sen. Robert P. Casey (D., Pa.) and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce called Friday for the restoration of $242 million for Amtrak that the House cut from next year's federal budget. Casey and Lisa Crutchfield, the chamber's senior vice president of advocacy and public affairs, said Amtrak was an important economic engine for the region, critical for job growth and economic development. They urged the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on transportation, housing, and urban development to include $1.4 billion for Amtrak in the budget for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. That would be about the same as the $1.39 billion provided to Amtrak this year and higher than the $1.14 billion in the budget approved June 9 by the House.
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.
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