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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
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.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
Safety permissions designed to protect maintenance workers on the rails had been granted before a fatal train crash in Chester this month, according to a federal report released Monday. According to the National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report, a backhoe was being used in a 55-hour maintenance cycle scheduled to clean the rocks on the rail bed and clear mud spots from April 1 to 4. Amtrak controls four tracks in the area just south of Highland Avenue Station in Chester and the maintenance crew was working on Track 2 on April 3. The backhoe was positioned on Track 3 so it could perform work on Track 2. Track 2 had been removed from service entirely, and Tracks 1, 3, and 4 were granted "intermittent foul time," a safety designation that should prevent trains from being routed onto tracks where workers or equipment are present, to accommodate the backhoe.
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.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 27, 2016 | By Chris Mondics, Staff Writer
With the National Transportation Safety Board set to release its final report May 17 on the disastrous Amtrak crash in Philadelphia last year, the rail line has already begun to settle a handful of claims and has spent millions on health care for passengers injured in the crash. Meanwhile, litigation over the crash is starting to take shape, with lawyers for both Amtrak and hundreds of passengers cataloging injuries, lost wages, and other economic losses. The extent of losses is critical because the amount of money Amtrak can pay out in claims is limited by law to $295 million.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
Safety permissions designed to protect maintenance workers on the rails had been granted before a fatal train crash in Chester this month, according to a federal report released Monday. According to the National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report, a backhoe was being used in a 55-hour maintenance cycle scheduled to clean the rocks on the rail bed and clear mud spots from April 1 to 4. Amtrak controls four tracks in the area just south of Highland Avenue Station in Chester and the maintenance crew was working on Track 2 on April 3. The backhoe was positioned on Track 3 so it could perform work on Track 2. Track 2 had been removed from service entirely, and Tracks 1, 3, and 4 were granted "intermittent foul time," a safety designation that should prevent trains from being routed onto tracks where workers or equipment are present, to accommodate the backhoe.
NEWS
April 9, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
A federal directive issued to Amtrak on Wednesday night confirms that the rail agency's workers weren't following basic safety rules when a weekend train crash killed two people in Chester. The directive of action from the Federal Railroad Administration is the first official confirmation that safety rules weren't followed preceding the Sunday crash. Specifically, it highlighted concerns about the way personnel working on tracks follow safety standards. It stated that both federal regulations and Amtrak's internal rules were not being followed leading up to the crash, according to information provided by a senior FRA official.
NEWS
April 8, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
Federal agencies have repeatedly advised railroads to use backup safety precautions for workers on the rails after accidents hauntingly similar to Sunday's fatal Amtrak crash in Chester. Sources with knowledge of the crash that killed two have said a communications lapse during a shift change contributed to workers' staying on the rails while safety precautions designed to route trains away from them were canceled. This exact scenario, according to a 2014 Federal Railroad Administration safety advisory, has been an ongoing problem in railroad work.
NEWS
April 7, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin and Caitlin McCabe, STAFF WRITERS
A failure to follow one or more safety rules designed to protect rail workers likely played a role in the Amtrak crash that killed two men Sunday, sources with knowledge of the crash said. The National Transportation Safety Board has said the communication between dispatchers and the work crew on the track will be one of the factors examined in the investigation. On Tuesday, several sources said a possible focus was on the failure to properly secure the permission that work crews need to safely access tracks.
NEWS
April 6, 2016 | Staff Report
Amtrak and SEPTA have resumed rail service through the area of Sunday's deadly Amtrak derailment in Delaware County. The Sunday morning train derailed after crashing into a maintenance vehicle in Chester, killing two rail workers, injuring 37 passengers and shutting down Amtrak and SEPTA trains. Amtrak, which restored limited service Sunday, said it would operate on its normal schedule Monday, though riders on Acela Express and Northeast Regional trains between Philadelphia and Wilmington may face delays.
NEWS
April 5, 2016 | By Marie McCullough and Maria Panaritis, STAFF WRITERS
It happened so fast that Kim Goldman had barely settled in for her ride from Philadelphia to Washington. Amtrak Train 89 was cruising south along a row of refineries near the Delaware border, some of its 341 passengers dozing, others nursing cups of coffee. Until a boom, a wall of fire, and yellow smoke stirred terror just before 8 a.m. Sunday. Barely 20 minutes after departing Philadelphia, the Georgia-bound train struck an Amtrak maintenance vehicle in Chester and derailed, killing two people, injuring 37 others, and creating a scene of confusion and fear less than a year after another Philadelphia-area Amtrak crash that killed eight people and injured hundreds.
NEWS
April 5, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Caitlin McCabe, and Marie McCullough, STAFF WRITERS
An Amtrak train derailed after crashing into a maintenance vehicle in Chester on Sunday, killing two rail workers and injuring 37 passengers, rail officials said. The crash, the second fatal Amtrak derailment in the region within the last year, suspended service between Philadelphia and Washington, and shut down SEPTA trains on the Wilmington/Newark line. Amtrak Train 89, operating from New York to Savannah, Ga., struck a backhoe on the tracks around 7:50 a.m. Sunday near Sixth and Booth Streets in Chester, officials said.
BUSINESS
March 17, 2016 | By Jacob Adelman, Staff Writer
Amtrak and its development partners want to build a new underground concourse linking 30th Street Station with SEPTA's subways and trolleys as the first step in a 35-year plan for the area. The concourse, to be topped by a skylight and lined with shops along its 250-foot span, would be completed during the first half of the 2020s, according to a draft of the 30th Street Station District Plan to be released during an open house at the station Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. The draft is the latest stage in a $5.25 million study, nearing completion after two years, of plans for the station.
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