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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.
NEWS
June 1, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
The fatal derailment of Amtrak Train 188 in Philadelphia, which three weeks ago left eight people dead, has generated a lot of talk about more funding, reorganizing, or privatizing the nation's passenger rail service. But it's likely the talk will produce very little. Periodically, there is talk in Congress about privatizing at least the most successful portion of Amtrak - the 457-mile Northeast Corridor connecting Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. But beyond loud speeches about Amtrak's many deficiencies, there is little movement to accomplish that goal.
NEWS
May 29, 2015 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
After the May 12 derailment of Amtrak Train 188 in Philadelphia that left thousands of regional commuters scrambling for other transportation, airfares between New York and Washington seemed to skyrocket - coach fares between Washington Dulles and John F. Kennedy airports were going for $1,000 and more one way. A last-minute flight between Philadelphia International and New York LaGuardia airports was $537 each way for up to a week after the wreck...
NEWS
May 28, 2015 | BY ANNIE PALMER, Daily News Staff Writer palmera@phillynews.com, 215-854-5927
AMTRAK PLANS to install internal cameras on its trains in the Northeast Corridor, allowing them to monitor train engineers, the corporation announced yesterday. The new safety measure follows the May 12 derailment of Amtrak Train 188, which left eight passengers dead and about 200 injured. An investigation led by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the train sped up from 70 to 102 mph as it approached a curve near Frankford Junction. A wide-angle camera will be added to each locomotive's cab, focusing on the engineer and the control console, Amtrak Spokesman Craig Schulz said.
NEWS
May 28, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
The scramble among personal-injury lawyers for clients in the catastrophic Amtrak crash is on. Law firms have held news conferences, advertised on the Internet, and issued news releases. Others with long records of representing clients in train and car wrecks instead are relying on networks of lawyers who refer clients or simply waiting for clients to find them on their own. "There is a lot of competition," said Nancy Winkler, of Eisenberg Rothweiler Winkler Eisenberg & Jeck P.C., and a past president of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association.
NEWS
May 23, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Responding to last week's deadly wreck of Amtrak Train 188, the Federal Railroad Administration on Thursday ordered Amtrak to improve safety on the Northeast Corridor's dangerous curves. The FRA's emergency order requires Amtrak to identify within five days all curves on the Boston-to-Washington corridor where there is a drop of more than 20 m.p.h. in the speed limit from the approaching straightaway. Then Amtrak must install an automatic control system that would slow speeding trains at the identified curves, or come up with an acceptable alternative.
NEWS
May 22, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Almost alone among the nation's railroads, SEPTA's Regional Rail network is on pace to meet a federal deadline of Dec. 31 to install a "positive train control" system to prevent accidents like the Amtrak derailment last week that killed eight and injured 200 passengers. SEPTA moved faster than most railroads to buy the necessary radio spectrum needed to send control information to trains. That gave SEPTA a crucial head start in 2010. And SEPTA delayed other projects for years to spend more than $300 million for positive train control because the federal government did not provide funding when it mandated the control system.
NEWS
May 21, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - On April 15, less than a month before eight people were killed in last week's train derailment in Philadelphia, Amtrak closed on a deal to acquire the radio spectrum it needs to upgrade its rail safety system throughout the Northeast Corridor, according to Amtrak and the Federal Communications Commission. Had it been in place, the system, Positive Train Control, could have slowed or stopped the speeding Amtrak Train 188 and prevented the crash, a National Transportation Safety Board member has said.
NEWS
May 20, 2015 | By Chris Palmer and Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writers
With new safety measures in place, passenger trains resumed shuttling between Philadelphia and New York City on Monday, restoring full service to the bustling Northeast Corridor for the first time since last week's deadly Amtrak derailment at Frankford Junction. Amtrak spokesman Craig Schulz said the railroad installed an automatic train-control system over the weekend on the northbound tracks to limit speed approaching the curve to 45 m.p.h. Train 188 was traveling at 106 m.p.h.
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