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February 10, 2016
Call it a clash of cultures. The investigation into the horrific crash of Amtrak Train 188 on May 12, 2015, is proceeding along two paths, and the two couldn't be more different. The National Transportation Safety Board so far has taken the lead, opening its probe one day after the crash. Its cautious and collaborative approach to rail and aircraft disasters has won praise for encouraging witnesses to open up, but also criticism for seeming to pull punches. Dozens of personal-injury lawyers also want a crack at explaining what happened, and have filed 111 lawsuits involving the crash.
NEWS
February 4, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
In the aftermath of Amtrak Train 188's derailment, the crew members staggered to their feet, or regained consciousness, to find a world turned upside down. "Stuff was on top of them," said Akida Henry, 38, an assistant conductor. "People were bleeding. One person was pinned down in a table, like, crushed. Somebody was, like, upside - it was - they were everywhere. " Another assistant conductor, Thomas O'Brien, 34, himself uninjured, was shocked at the devastation. "I just thought, 'How are we all bleeding so much already?
NEWS
February 3, 2016 | By Chris Mondics, STAFF WRITER
Brandon Bostian, the engineer on the ill-fated Amtraktrain that crashed May 12, gave investigators sharply differing accounts of what he recalls of the moments before the crash, raising questions about his credibility, two prominent plaintiffs said Monday. Tom Kline and Robert Mongelluzzi said at a press conference that inconsistencies in Bostian's story underscore the need for Bostian to be deposed under oath. Mongeluzzi's firm represents 17 passengers who have filed claims, while Kline & Specter represents 12 victims, including two death claims.
NEWS
February 3, 2016 | By Dana DiFilippo, Staff Writer
A New York-bound Amtrak high-speed Acela train traveling through Bridesburg just before 7 p.m. Sunday was hit by something that smashed a coach window. The incident came the day before the federal investigators are slated to release hundreds of pages of documents in their probe of the crash of an Amtrak train in May in nearby Frankford that claimed the lives of eight people. After the object slammed into the window Sunday night, one startled passenger tweeted that a bullet hit the train, but Amtrak officials said Monday morning they haven't determined what the object was. Taylor Lorenz, 30, a freelance editor from the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, was on the train, a few seats from the broken window.
NEWS
February 3, 2016 | By Emily Babay, Staff Writer
National Transportation Safety Board documents released Monday include transcripts of interviews with Amtrak crew members and emergency personnel who responded to the May 12, 2015, derailment of Train 188 at Frankford Junction: Akida Henry, assistant conductor for Train 188: "He [the engineer] was laying on the horn. The next thing, you see something flash and the train is shaking so violently. It's just shaking and shaking and it seemed like forever. Finally, we kind of - I don't know if we flipped or what, but we rolled and slid.
NEWS
February 1, 2016 | By Jonathan Tamari, WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON - Federal investigators will open a new window into the deadly Amtrak Train 188 derailment in Philadelphia when they release a trove of documents Monday, including interview transcripts with the engineer. Those interviews could provide the most detailed view yet of Brandon Bostian, the engineer running the train in May when it sped to 106 m.p.h. - more than twice the speed limit for an approaching curve - before hurtling off the tracks in Frankford Junction, killing eight and injuring more than 200. Bostian's lawyer has said the engineer does not remember the crash.
NEWS
January 27, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
Update Tuesday 8 a.m.: 18 SEPTA bus routes remain out of service.   Almost two days after the last snowflakes fell, about one-fifth of Philadelphia's 122 bus routes remained suspended. By Monday afternoon, 26 routes were still out of service, largely due to unplowed streets, SEPTA officials said. "These operate in neighborhood areas, and to be able to bring a 40-foot bus down a street requires the street to be relatively cleared," said Manuel Smith, spokesman for the transportation authority.
NEWS
December 27, 2015
Train kills 1 in Malvern A person was struck and killed by a train yesterday morning in Malvern, Chester County, disrupting service on Amtrak and SEPTA. Someone trespassing on the tracks was hit about 9:15 a.m. by a Keystone Service train westbound from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Amtrak said. The train had 100 people on board at the time, Amtrak said. No riders or crew members were injured. The incident prompted SEPTA to suspend service on a section of the Paoli/Thorndale Linefor about three hours.
NEWS
December 22, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
A key train safety system is now active on Amtrak rails from Washington to New York. And SEPTA's Regional Rail system is not far behind in activating its own version of the technology, officials have said. Amtrak activated Positive Train Control, which can automatically slow or stop a speeding train, between Philadelphia and New York this past weekend. The system went online from Philadelphia to Washington a week ago, spokeswoman Christina Leeds said Sunday night. The system was already operational on Amtrak rails from New Haven, Conn., to Boston, she said.
NEWS
December 5, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The Senate and House approved a sweeping transportation bill Thursday that could help increase the compensation to victims of the May 12 Amtrak crash in Philadelphia and boost funding for rail safety - both steps coming in response to the derailment that killed eight people. The five-year, $305 billion bill includes policy provisions related to highway safety, railroads, and road programs. Several policy riders, though, including one to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, drew criticism, and some faulted the bill for being funded with gimmicks.
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