• Northeast Regional 188 - Accident In Philadelphia

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by USRailFan
 
litz wrote:
justalurker66 wrote:
Matt Johnson wrote:Last appearance on the online tracker:

https://twitter.com/AirlineFlyer/status ... 44/photo/1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
If you believe that report the train made it a long way out of Philadelphia. It is hard to take the speed as gospel when the location is absolutely wrong.
There's no question the tracker is wrong ... if they really went through that curve at 106mph, that train would be 2 streets over clear on the other side of the freight yard.
106 km/h seems plausible though, given what the senator(?) onboard said.
  by Matt Johnson
 
If he was at 106 mph at the point shown, which is clearly a little prior to the curve, then it could well have been a case of slowing somewhat, but clearly not enough, prior to the derailment.
  by justalurker66
 
With better lighting now on scene it is easier to see where the train ended up. The engine nearly crossed the freight yard ... the tracks it stopped on were yard tracks. Most of the passenger cars ended up next to the yard tracks with one stretched perpendicular to the others between the yard and the Amtrak main line. The back car of the train is still "on" the main track, tilted sideways. The lead passenger car is barely recognizable.
  by TrainPhotos
 
carajul wrote:CNN is reporting the last car of the train as the "caboose"
That pretty much sums up CNN and most large media outlets.

If anyone has info on affected services and alternate routes between PA and NJ please link them here. I have some co-workers scrambling to figure out how they will get in tomorrow, and you folks seem to have a good beat on that kind of thing. :-)
  by justalurker66
 
Here are some suggestions for commuters posted earlier in this thread ...
khecht wrote:
Noel Weaver wrote:With the location being in the area of Frankford Junction I think the railroad should be OK to 30th Street Station where he might have two choices:
1. The Market - Frankford Subway to a point where he can transfer to the PATCO Line for Camden then light rail it to Trenton where NJT should be running more or less normal service to New York.
2. Go to the upper level (SEPTA) at 30th Street and take a local to West Trenton where he can probably get to the Penn Station at Amtrak by taxicab.
Of the two alternatives I would probably use no. 1 because I don't like taxis no how. In any event he will have a long ride back to Connecticut and I can't reach his cell phone to appraise him of the situation ahead.
Though they're likely to do tremendous business at least Wednesday, another option if he gets to 30th Street would likely be to take buses out of the bus terminal that is just north of the SEPTA Market East (now "Jefferson") station; numerous Chinatown buses also depart from Chinatown within blocks of there. The area is safe on foot, and you can take any eastbound SEPTA train, except Cynwyd line trains signed only to Suburban Station, to get there. As I don't personally have experience with these services, though, some research is likely worthwhile.
Noel Weaver wrote:So far I salute all previous entries on here for not commenting on the possible cause, we simply don't know as yet but in any event it is not going to be good.
Please continue to pray for all involved and thank god that it wasn't worse, it could have been.
Noel Weaver
As bad is it is, it could have also been far worse. I passed by SHORE on my way southbound on Keystone train 655 about 90 minutes before the incident, and it's possible I walked right past some folks on this train as I exited through the main hall at 30th Street, which is disconcerting. Best wishes to everyone affected.
As for the main line ... it doesn't look that bad. The catenary is down but it appears that the only damage to Amtrak's line would be the track closest to the yard.
  by pumpers
 
The NY Times has a standard aerial photo of the site with the positions of the cars & engine superimposed. A long distance from the tracks, except for the last 2-3 cars. Hope the NY Times article is public access http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/13/us/am ... -news&_r=0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I am usually quiet til official facts are reported, but this just screams speed. The figure, if correct, shows how far the cars moved from the passenger rails on a curve through some vacant land to end up in the freight yard. Totally consistent with Justalurker's message above. I have ridden Amtrak regional over 100 times in that stretch, and from 30th st to just north of this site is always slow - could be some 60 mph stretches near the North Philly station but mostly slower. So I believe the speed from the Amtrak tracker site posted earlier, approximately.
The NY Times figure also shows one car being only a piece of car and bent in half , consistent with above reports of one car destroyed by a cat pole. Let's hope that was the car behind the engine (could have been looking at the NY times graphic) and was closed to passengers due to a light load (although with a reported load of 238 I doubt it).
JS
PS NJT Riverline from Trenton to Camden will be a mob scene tomorrow - it is only a few cars of capacity and I hope some kind of crowd control is on hand.
  by mark777
 
while visibility is still poor due to the low lighting in the area, from the many photos and video feeds of the accident that I saw, eerily remind me of the derailment in Spain last year with one of it's high speed trains. If you have seen that video, you will see that while the train entered the curve at high speed, the remaining cars began to tilt off the track and separated from the locomotive. The first 4 cars of that train took the brunt of the impact and had the most fatalities. this looks similar, but in this case, it seems plausible that the impact with the catenary polls resulted in the complete destruction of the lead car. The remaining cars looked to have jackknifed once the train began making contact with the ground. I agree here that we should leave it up to the NTSB to determine the cause of the derailment, but dramatic destruction of rail cars like we see here are typically a result of a few things. Either it was due to an impact with another train or the result of inertia from a speeding train that went off the tracks. He might not have been going passed the speed limit. If he was doing say 60MPH, and if there was a broken rail or if the rail over turned as the train began entering the curve, you can very well end up with this outcome. That could explain why some cars ended up almost upside down. I wonder also if the weather could have played a role in this? It was quite warm today in Philly and in NY, and suddenly, the temps began to drop as the sun went down. We already know what drastic temp changes can do to rails. What a horrifying scene. My thoughts and prayers to all of those involved and to those lives that were lost.
  by TrainPhotos
 
mark777 wrote:while visibility is still poor due to the low lighting in the area, from the many photos and video feeds of the accident that I saw, eerily remind me of the derailment in Spain last year with one of it's high speed trains. If you have seen that video, you will see that while the train entered the curve at high speed, the remaining cars began to tilt off the track and separated from the locomotive. The first 4 cars of that train took the brunt of the impact and had the most fatalities. this looks similar, but in this case, it seems plausible that the impact with the catenary polls resulted in the complete destruction of the lead car. The remaining cars looked to have jackknifed once the train began making contact with the ground. I agree here that we should leave it up to the NTSB to determine the cause of the derailment, but dramatic destruction of rail cars like we see here are typically a result of a few things. Either it was due to an impact with another train or the result of inertia from a speeding train that went off the tracks. He might not have been going passed the speed limit. If he was doing say 60MPH, and if there was a broken rail or if the rail over turned as the train began entering the curve, you can very well end up with this outcome. That could explain why some cars ended up almost upside down. I wonder also if the weather could have played a role in this? It was quite warm today in Philly and in NY, and suddenly, the temps began to drop as the sun went down. We already know what drastic temp changes can do to rails. What a horrifying scene.
These sentiments are definitely shared by myself as well as one of my co-workers. I am no railroader, nor NTSB investigator, but I'm pretty good with physical sciences. It looks like one of the catenary "H" towers actually used by amtrak over the 4 main tracks had a significant impact (it's leaning way over). If it was with the locomotive or a car or both, I have absolutely no idea.

I second the motion that this is absolutely horrifying. Thankfully my boss canceled work tomorrow, as about a quarter of the people who work with me have to cross into NJ. It is my sincerest hope that all the crew are alive and accounted for.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
From the material I have reviewed, it appears we are moving forth with mature discussion and, considering the magnitude of the incident, minimizing speculation. Now with.that having been said, allow me to note that there appear to be similarlies with the 1944 PRR incident that occurred at roundly the same location:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankford_ ... rain_wreck" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by TrainPhotos
 
I keep thinking the same two words. Catenary tower.

Some people have mentioned speed, but those catenary towers are no joke. Have you ever seen one up close? Thick and sturdy steel I beams...
  by kieran
 
Good Morning America just showed a YouTube video of Engine 188 while talking about the engine for Train 188. Clearly not the same thing.

Just crazy how little the mainstream media knows about railroads in general.
  by bluedash2
 
Per a friend who was the engineer on the 198 behind them- all the crew is accounted for. Alive but banged up as you can imagine.
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