January 6, 2009 |
To speed onboard ticket sales, Amtrak is planning to buy 2,000 credit-card readers for conductors to use to sell tickets. Amtrak still will require most passengers to have a ticket before boarding a train, if ticket windows are open or ticket machines are available at the station where they board. Also, onboard purchases will not be permitted on reservation-only trains such as the Acela. But for passengers who board at stations such as North Philadelphia or Cornwells Heights, where there are no ticket clerks or machines, the card readers will speed the process.
March 7, 1987 |
Calling Amtrak a "long-term drain on the federal Treasury," Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Hanford Dole yesterday announced that she has appointed a commission to study the possible sale of the passenger railroad system. Amtrak has grown from a "short-term experiment, as Congress originally intended," to a subsidized passenger service that has cost $12.4 billion since 1970, Dole told a meeting of the National Newspaper Association. She said that former Illinois Gov. Richard Ogilvie had been appointed to head an 11-member study panel representing industry, government and citizens' groups.
March 14, 2009 |
At the height of the morning rush hour, the power outage stopped 112 trains in their tracks, from Maryland to New York. Eventually, an electrical substation in the City of Chester's west end was identified as a critical link in the chain of events on May 25, 2006, that led to the worst rush-hour jam-up in Amtrak's history. Yesterday, Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) announced that Amtrak would be getting $63 million to build new frequency converters at the Lamokin Street station as part of the federal stimulus package.
December 10, 1996 |
The birth of Amtrak, according to its current president, Tom Downs, goes something like this: When the Penn Central railroad went bankrupt, President Richard M. Nixon's senior economists studied a proposal to create a national rail company from the remnants of the Penn Central and other railroads' money-losing intercity lines. The federal government would give the new system enough money to get on its feet, but over the long haul it would become self-sufficient. After crunching the numbers, the economists concluded that a new railroad would never make money.
October 4, 1989 |
They wore signboards declaring, "Priority: children or gamblers? It's your choice;" "Amtrak is gambling with people's lives;" and "Gamble with Amtrak and everybody loses. " Seventy people gathered Sunday at the Harker Avenue grade crossing in Berlin Borough, where, two weeks ago, a woman and her child were killed after she drove around the lowered safety gates in an attempt to beat a train. Organized by members of RAGE (Residents Against the Gamblers' Express), the demonstration was part of an overall effort the group is making to stop Amtrak dead in its tracks.
May 14, 1990 |
Most business travelers in the Northeast Corridor are familiar with Amtrak's usually reliable and convenient service. San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Calif., also have frequent enough rail service these days to meet many business travelers' needs. But Amtrak has several lesser-known routes that business travelers are increasingly using between major cities or between cities and small towns that don't have scheduled airline service. Service between Chicago and Milwaukee and Chicago and Grand Rapids, Mich.
January 6, 1987 |
Although it disrupted the travel plans of thousands of rail passengers yesterday, the deadly Amtrak crash north of Baltimore on Sunday probably will not have any major impact on the number of people taking trains. Amtrak officials, others in the travel industry and passengers waiting to board trains at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia all expressed the belief that business would be back to normal within a few days on the busy Northeast Corridor rail line. Except in a few isolated situations, neither airline crashes nor other major Amtrak accidents in recent years have had any discernible effect on the ridership of the carriers involved, the transportation officials said.
March 29, 1989 |
There is a big white house here on Commerce Street with a second-story porch about 5 feet from the window seat of the "Cardinal," Amtrak's sleeper train from Chicago to Washington. The old-fashioned porch swing there must be the second-best seat to watch the world go by. The first-best, of course, is that window seat on the Cardinal. Passenger trains, we all know, are supposed to be dead in the United States. I guess they're not what they used to be, but we couldn't tell that last Sunday rolling east for five hours from Clifton Forge, Va., to the capital.
February 28, 1990 |
The model train, the Yankee Clipper, must not have been allowed at Kennebunkport at Christmas time. George Bush, while sloshing through the campaign trail in later years, must not have read Paul Theroux's The Old Patagonian Express where, on a "morning of paralyzing frost" in Boston, it was "the perfect day to leave for South America" by train. It appears, too, that Richard Darman, buried deeply in the ideological tomes of the Reagan era, must not have been distracted by the subtle mystery of Chris Van Alleburg's The Polar Express or imagined its "sounds of hissing steam and squeaking metal.
August 10, 1993 |
"The Germany's ICE train is the hottest thing on rails," quips Alice Andors, spokesman for Siemens Transportation Corp., which hopes Amtrak will adopt ICE's technology for its planned high-speed rail service between Boston and Washington. Competition is heating up for the $450 million Amtrak expects to spend to put 26 fast trains into service by 1997. ABB Traction Inc. of Sweden said the ICE may be nice, but it's not as cool as its own model, the X2000. According to James N. Michel, Amtrak's assistant vice president for design and engineering, Amtrak hopes to be able to award contracts by next spring.