January 2005 Wreck Roundup

February 5, 2005 The Cross-Tie 0

A 54-year-old woman was killed Jan. 21 in Pickens County, S.C, when her 1997 Ford Escort was struck by the northbound Crescent Amtrak passenger train, the Anderson Independent-Mail newspaper reported. It appears the woman panicked when she realized she was stopped on the tracks, but was unable to move her car, according to the newspaper’s report. A Jan. 20 derailment at Union Station in Washington snarled rail traffic for hours. Two cars from train No. 132 derailed at the northern end of the station, an Amtrak spokesman told Reuters news agency. No one was hurt. Dozens of other trains into

Nation’s Largest Taxpayer Group Urges Va. Railroad Board to Stand Up to Amtrak, Allow Competitive Bid

January 5, 2005 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Operations Board should stand up for Virginia taxpayers and commuters by standing up to Amtrak. That’s the view of the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), which sent a letter to Board Chairman John Jenkins today recommending the railway break free of Amtrak’s grip by competitively contracting out the system’s services. The citizen group has 8,500 members in Virginia. “Over the past thirty-plus years of Amtrak’s existence, the railroad has hindered, not helped, the development of rail networks,” said NTU Director of Government Affairs Paul Gessing. “Amtrak has repeatedly threatened commuter rail systems

Amtrak Continues to Show Passenger Gains

November 1, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Again showing strong demand for passenger trains in 46 states, Amtrak announced today it has set a ridership record for Fiscal Year 2004: 25,053,564 passengers rode Amtrak trains in the period October 2003 through September 2004. That figure is an increase of 4.3 percent and exceeds by more than one million passengers the previous record of 24,028,119 set in Fiscal Year 2003. “We are very happy with our ridership numbers. The increases have been across all our services – corridor trains as well as long-distance trains,” said David L. Gunn, Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer. “The numbers

Amtrak Says Farewell to Express Mail

October 15, 2004 The Cross-Tie 0

WASHINGTON – Amtrak will discontinue shipping mail for the U.S. Postal Service, saying the decision will improve passenger service. “Mail and express no longer makes business sense for Amtrak and has negatively impacted the quality of our passenger service, so the decision has been made to exit the business,” Amtrak President & CEO David L. Gunn said in a message to employees. “It is my intention to have all mail and express activity concluded by early October.” In addition to a notification given last week to the Postmaster General, Amtrak is advising officials in Florida, Ohio and Indiana that a

City of New Orleans train to evacuate hundreds affected by Hurricane Ivan

September 15, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – Amtrak has temporarily suspended service to and from New Orleans, due to Hurricane Ivan. New Orleans is served by the City of New Orleans daily to and from Chicago, the Crescent daily to and from New York City and the three-days-weekly Sunset Limited to and from Los Angeles and Orlando. As the weather system approaches New Orleans, which is below sea level, local officials agreed to a delay in erecting the last gate in the levee system in order to allow an expanded City of New Orleans train to depart northbound this afternoon. An additional set of rail

In Suspicion of Threat, Amtrak Train Stopped

August 1, 2004 Todd DeFeo 0

Authorities, responding to a suspicious note, stopped an Amtrak train in Newark, N.J., and searched with bomb-sniffing dogs before letting it resume. The train, bound for Newark, N.J., was stopped July 11, after a suspicious note was found aboard the train. The Associated Press quoted an anonymous source as saying the note contained “pro-Muslin, anti-Jewish rhetoric.” The train was stopped for about an hour and a half before it was allowed to resume, according to various published reports. Police searched the train with bombsniffing dogs and videoed passengers, The Associated Press reported. Amtrak spokesman Dan Stessel told Reuters there was

Woman, Unhurt, Falls in Path of Amtrak Train

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. – A woman, who fell off a platform and under an Amtrak train, avoided injuries, published reported indicate. “It appears to be an accidental fall,” Maryland Gazette Newspapers quoted Chauncey Bowers, spokesman for the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, as saying. “Unfortunately, she ended up falling onto the track bed and under a portion of the train.” Authorities indicated the train had stopped when the woman fell of the platform. Emergency crews responded to the station shortly after 2 p.m. Monday (June 14) and rescued the woman. She was transported to an area hospital where she was

Empire Builder Reaches 75 Years: Amtrak & Others Celebrate Northernmost U.S. Transcontinental Train

WASHINGTON – The Amtrak Empire Builder, one of the great trains in American history and the northernmost U.S. transcontinental train, will celebrate its 75th anniversary of service on June 11, 2004. “The Empire Builder is an essential public transportation connection across the upper United States,” said Amtrak President and CEO David L. Gunn. “We are the steward of three-quarters of a century of reliable passenger train service to an otherwise isolated area of the nation.” Celebrations are scheduled at each of the three Empire Builder endpoints – Chicago, Seattle and Portland – and at the Milwaukee; St. Paul-Minneapolis; Edmonds, Wash.;

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