Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Bad Day in Rail Transit

Update 10:28pm PT: Unfortunate news, the Green Line Operator Injured in the accident has died. My thoughts are with the family.

I'm not gonna sugar coat the day today, it was just bad all around. First there was a horrific crash of two Green Line Streetcars in Boston. Switchback has the coverage along with the AP.

A two-car train slammed into the back of another two-car train approaching Woodland Station, said Pesaturo, adding that the trains were probably packed with commuters. "The first one was stopped at a red signal and was ready to proceed to the station when it was struck," he said.

In Chicago, an EL train derailed due to operator error, injuring passengers.

In Chicago, authorities said a train operator apparently made two key errors in quick succession to cause a derailment that left passengers perched more than 20 feet above the ground and sent several to hospitals. The operator failed to heed a red signal ordering him to stop, Chicago Transit Authority spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney said. After the four-car train went through the signal, it automatically activated a trip, which stopped the train.

But the operator moved the train forward again at a spot where the tracks split before they were switched into proper position, causing the rear end of the front car and the second car to derail but remain standing, with the other two cars still on the tracks, Gaffney said.

And lastly, in Mississippi, an Amtrak train hit a garbage truck causing serious injuries to some passengers. This all points to the importance of safety in operations as well as from bystanders along the tracks. It was a scary day. Hopefully no one has been seriously injured.

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