Amtrak Resumes Services Between NYC And Philadelphia After Deadly Crash
Trains of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor will resume services on Monday in “complete compliance” of federal safety orders after last week’s derailment that killed eight people and injured at least 200, officials announced on Sunday.
The staff at Amtrak had been working “around the clock” to resume train services on the route between Washington and Boston, said company president Joseph Boardman.
According to Time, in a statement released on Sunday, Boardman said, “Our infrastructure repairs have been made with the utmost care and emphasis on infrastructure integrity including complete compliance with Federal Railroad Administration directives.”
The Amtrak Regional 188 had reached a speed of 106 miles per hour as it entered the curve near Frankfort Junction where the deadly derailment occurred. The maximum permissible speed, however, was 50 miles per hour, less than half at what the train was traveling at. The driver of the train slammed the breaks only moments before the train flipped over and crashed.
National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt, who is heading the investigation, told CNN’s State of the Union, “The only way that an operable train can accelerate would be if the engineer pushed the throttle forward. And … the event recorder does record throttle movement. We will be looking at that to see if that corresponds to the increase in the speed of the train.”
Reports also suggested that a projectile had struck the train shortly before the crash. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was asked to look into the matter of an object – a rock or a bullet – that had hit the train a short while before it sped up and derailed.
However, Sumwalt on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday said that he wanted to “downplay” the theory that the damage caused to the windshield could have been caused by someone firing a shot at the train.
“I’ve seen the fracture pattern; it looks like something about the size of a grapefruit, if you will, and it did not even penetrate the entire windshield,” Sumwalt said, according to USA Today.
An assistant conductor on the crashed train told the NTSB that an operator on the adjacent tracks from the regional train agency SEPTA radioed that his window was struck by a projectile.
Sumwalt said that the regional engineer didn’t recall such a conversation. The dispatch tape did not reveal any communication from the Amtrak engineer informing the dispatch center that an object had hit the train.
“But, nevertheless, we do have this mark on the windshield of the Amtrak train, so we certainly want to trace that lead down,” Sumwalt told CNN’s State of the Union.
In an interview on Fox News on Sunday, Sumwalt said that projectiles hit trains regularly. He added that they normally do not cause severe ramifications.
According to ABC News, the Amtrak Acela Express, Northeast Regional and other services will restart for the first time since the accident on Monday. The corridor will also resume its services, with the first train departing from New York City at 5:30 a.m. and Philadelphia at 5:53 a.m.
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