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NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jamer Hunt typically commutes from Center City to a teaching job at the Parsons School for Design in New York City four days a week on a 7:28 or 8:30 a.m. Amtrak train. After Hunt, 50, learned Tuesday night about the derailment of Amtrak Train 188 at Frankford Junction, he tried to take a bus Wednesday morning, but tickets were sold out. On Wednesday, he worked from home via Skype on his computer to videoconference with a fellow teacher and class of 20 students. "I was up on the big screen, and talking with the students," said the director of the graduate design program at Parsons as he waited in line for an 8:15 a.m. Megabus on Thursday in University City.
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
May 16, 2015 | By Michael Vitez, Inquirer Staff Writer
The ER was already busy, close to full - gunshots, car wrecks, strokes - when the "get ready" call came in at 9:45 p.m. By 10:30, they began arriving by police car, ambulance, anything. By midnight, 54 had made it to Temple University Hospital, which treated more passengers from Amtrak's Tuesday night disaster than any other emergency room. The most critical patients were rushed into one of the three trauma bays just inside the ER door. Teams of doctors and nurses were assigned to each bay, responsible for stabilizing patients and moving them through with skill and speed, making room for the next.
NEWS
May 16, 2015 | By Joseph A. Gambardello and Anthony R. Wood, Inquirer Staff Writers
Right before its fatal derailment on Tuesday night, Amtrak Train 188 accelerated significantly as it approached the Frankford Junction curve, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday. In barely a minute, its speed jumped from 70 m.p.h. to 102 m.p.h. three seconds before the crash, said NTSB member Robert Sumwalt at a news briefing. The speed limit in that area is 50 m.p.h. Sumwalt said it was unclear whether the engineer, identified as Brandon Bostian, 32, of Forest Hills, N.Y., had accelerated manually, but it was known that he did attempt to deploy the emergency brake.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writer gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
THE EARLY EVIDENCE suggests that speed, not decrepit infrastructure, was to blame for the horrific Amtrak train crash that killed seven people and injured hundreds more in Frankford on Tuesday. But the deadly incident naturally gave new life to longstanding concerns about the sorry state of America's aging, outdated rail system. The timing couldn't be worse. The Republican-led House Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to advance a bill that would cut Amtrak's funding by $260 million, to $1.14 billion, the Washington Post reported.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) proposed a $1.3 billion boost to Amtrak funding Wednesday, roughly 13 hours after the derailment in his home city, but was blocked by Republicans who raised concerns about increased spending. The battle in a House Appropriations Committee meeting came as Democrats - while acknowledging they didn't know the cause of the derailment - warned that a lack of investment in infrastructure prevents maintenance and could lead to more accidents. The committee was considering a GOP spending bill that would cut Amtrak funding by around $200 million.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, DANA DiFILIPPO, REGINA MEDINA, DAVID GAMBACORTA & WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writers bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
A LONG, GRAY day of digging through the twisted-metal jigsaw-puzzle wreckage of Amtrak Train 188 in an industrial no man's land in Frankford yielded the first but hardly the last answer to what caused the worst Northeast Corridor rail accident in nearly three decades: Speed killed. Robert Sumwalt, of the National Transportation Safety Board, said at a news conference that data showed the train had hit 106 mph - more than double the 50 mph speed limit for the sharp left curve at Frankford Junction - right as the engineer hit the emergency brake, to no avail, in the derailment at 9:21 p.m. Tuesday.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
"Canceled" was the operative word at the Trenton Transit Center at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Amtrak to Harrisburg, CANCELED. Amtrak to Boston, CANCELED SEPTA to Philadelphia, CANCELED. Commuters at the Trenton station had their schedules disrupted by the suspension of service to and from Philadelphia, but were stoic about the inconvenience. John Di Paolo, 45, said he was sitting on a train at Newark Penn Station Tuesday night when service was canceled because of the derailment.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, BARBARA LAKER & HELEN UBIÑAS, Daily News Staff Writers farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
A PHILADELPHIA CEO. A Naval Academy midshipman. A digital storyteller. A New York City financier. All travelers. All doers. All believers in something bigger than themselves. And all perished aboard Amtrak Train 188 when it derailed Tuesday night in Frankford. Of the seven people confirmed dead out of the 243 passengers on the train, by last night four had been identified: Philadelphia CEO Rachel Jacobs, 39; Naval Academy midshipman Jason Zemser, 20; Associated Press video-software architect Jim Gaines, 48; and Wells Fargo senior vice president Abid Gilani, 55. Many more remained missing.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | BY WENDY RUDERMAN & MENSAH DEAN, Daily News Staff Writers rudermw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5924
TUESDAY NIGHT'S fatal derailment was the worst Philadelphia train disaster in decades. The timing seemed chillingly prophetic: Just one day before the crash, the city's Office of Emergency Management had held a "mass casualty workshop" with police, fire and health personnel. Moments after Train 188 careened off the tracks, emergency calls went out across the city and scores of first responders rushed to the scene to find the mangled bodies of those killed and more than 200 injured and bloodied passengers.
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