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railfan.com/railnews Moved for Preservation Eight Die in Amtrak Derailment Remington Station


During the month of April the former Southern Railway station in Reming- ton, Va., was moved off railroad proper- ty adjacent to NS’s Washington-Atlanta mainline. Several years ago, NS planned to demolish the wood frame structure af- ter a business tenant ended its lease. NS then reached agreement with communi- ty leaders to spare the structure if they could find a new home for the station off the NS right-of-way. Its new home is several hundred feet away from the mainline and, once restoration is com- pleted, it will likely house a museum and model railroad exhibit.


UNION PACIFIC KEVIN SNYDER


Locomotive News


In April Union Pacific received from General Electric new C45AHs numbered 2523-2525, 2527, 2532, 2533, 2540-2547, and 2550. These new units are “T4C” variations of the ES44AC, meaning the locomotives internally are Tier 3 but achieve Tier 4 emissions compliance by way of emissions credits that the loco- motive manufacturer racked up through previous locomotive models that exceed- ed EPA Tier requirements. The railroad also picked up a small number of leased GP38-2s, which are considered “substitute locomotives” that ebb and flow from the roster to fulfill dif- ferent assignments as the railroad over- hauls different assignments or groups of locomotives. These locomotives include GMTX GP38-2s 2162, 2169, 2197, and 2198, plus LLPX 2202, 2222, and 2249. On April 16 UP retired three SW1500s


on the Alton & Southern Railroad roster, including 1510, 1513, and 1516.


Texas Site Cleared for New Yard


In October 2014, Union Pacific an- nounced plans to construct a new classi- fication yard near Bryan, Texas, north- west of Houston. According to the Texas Tribune, Union Pacific purchased more than 700 acres back in September in anticipation of the project’s approval. In early May a site in the small commu- nity of Mumford was cleared of aban- doned buildings which used to house a feed store, general store, and post office. Local farmers are protesting the loss of farmable land in their community. The new yard will take two years to build.


Amtrak 188 Derailment at Frankford Junction


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Amtrak/SEPTA Northeast Corridor


2 6 to Philadelphia Conrail Shared Assets NJT Atlantic City Line Frankford Yard CSAO 7 5 3 4


Pedestrian Bridge


ENGINE


llustration by Otto M. Vondrak ©2015 White River Productions BY OTTO M. VONDRAK


SAFETY ON AMTRAK’S BUSY Northeast Cor- ridor is under scrutiny following a de- railment on May 12 north of Philadel- phia that killed eight people and injured hundreds. According to authorities, Am- trak train No. 188 was traveling from Washington, D.C., to New York City when it entered a sharp curve at more than 100 m.p.h., twice the speed limit for that section of track. All seven cars and the locomotive derailed. “To see these cars, these huge metal vehicles turned upside down, one almost split in half, the engine almost completely separated — you know that this is a devastating situation,” Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said, “It’s amazing; it’s incredible that so many people walked away.” All 243 aboard have been accounted for. Within days of the incident, National Transportation Safety Board officials said the wreck may have been prevented had Amtrak’s Positive Train Control (PTC) system been activated. PTC was installed in this section of track, however Amtrak was only recently able to acquire the needed radio frequencies to operate the system. PTC relies on GPS and radio signals to monitor train speed. While the frequencies were approved in March by the FCC, according to an Amtrak spokesman the system requires further testing before it can be fully implemented. On May 21, the FRA issued Emergency


Order No. 31 that directed Amtrak to modify their computerized dispatching and signal system to “enforce the passenger train speed limit of 50 m.p.h., or lower, for northbound trains approaching the curve” at Frankford Junction. The order also required Amtrak to identify all locations along the NEC with speed reductions of more than


20 m.p.h. and update their systems to help prevent future overspeed situations. Reacting to calls for increased moni-


toring, Amtrak announced on May 26 it would be installing inward-facing cam- eras to monitor the actions of the engi- neer inside the cab. Currently, Amtrak locomotives only have outward-facing cameras and a “black box” recorder. It will cost nearly $6 million to install cam- eras in all of Amtrak’s locomotives, with the new ACS-64s being the first. At the controls of Train 188 was engineer Brandon Bostian, 32, of Queens, N.Y. Bostian hired on with Amtrak as a conductor in 2006, becoming an engineer in 2010. According to data recovered by the NTSB, upon departing Philadelphia Train 188 quickly accelerated from 70 m.p.h. to 106 m.p.h. According to Amtrak, the speed limit for the approach to Frankford Junction is 80 m.p.h., the curve itself is 50 m.p.h. As the train entered the curve, an emergency brake application was made that slowed the train down slightly before it left the rails. In an initial interview with NTSB investigator Robert Suwalt, Bostian revealed due to the stress of his injuries he does not remember anything after sounding the horn as he passed through North Philadelphia station. Initial reports that the train was the target of terrorism were dismissed by the FBI following an investigation into reports of possible projectiles. A SEPTA train that had passed through the area moments before suffered a broken windshield thanks to a rock-throwing vandal. Amtrak, SEPTA, and some NJ Transit


service along the Northeast Corridor that was severely disrupted in the days following the wreck resumed on May 18. While the NTSB wrapped up their initial information gathering on May 20, it will be up to a year before the results are released.


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to New York


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