UPDATE: Wall Street Journal Reports What We All Assumed

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Wall Street Journal:

An Amtrak train involved in a fatal crash here appears to have been traveling at more than 100 miles an hour as it entered a sharp curve where it derailed Tuesday night, killing at least six people, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.

The speed limit in that section of track drops to 50 miles per hour, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

This seemed painfully obvious… to everyone but reporters openly throwing around the word “explosion” last night… the minute you saw the map of where the train went off the tracks.

That said, there were three distinct flashes. Here’s a GIF of video obtained by NBC 10. I would assume this is power lines or transformers blowing:


Philly.com adds some color:

An automatic train control system designed to prevent speeding was not in place where Amtrak Train 188 crashed, killing seven people and injuring more than 200.

The train’s engineer, who has not been identified, declined to give a statement to police investigators and left the East Detectives Division with an attorney, police commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said Wednesday.

Amtrak crews have been installing “Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement” on the Northeast Corridor and other Amtrak rail routes, and were to install the system this year in the Philadelphia area.

Positive Train Control, which includes Amtrak’s system, is required by federal law to be installed on all passenger and major freight railroads by the end of this year.

But many railroads have asked for more time to install the expensive systems, and Congress is considering extending the deadline to 2020.

Why aren’t trains fully automated?

UPDATE: Oh, this is why:

UPDATE 2: Noted dope Chris Stigall fails to connect the dots:

No, it’s not congress. But I think there’s a pretty reasonable argument to be made that more money means better, more expediently installed safety systems. I mean, it’s kind of crazy that some sort of fail-safe wasn’t already installed.


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If only trains had the same AI that video game you bought in 1998 had.


75 Responses

  1. Scary. Went to high school right there (top of the frame – Northeast Catholic at the time). And also don’t listen to these clowns, this is just good reporting.

    1. Yes, retweeting others’ crap and linking to real reporters is “good reporting”. What a fucking loser you are.

  2. also the conductor is in the hospital with a skull fracture so maybe that’s why he’s not talking to police….bc his skull is broken

  3. Uh oh my main man Josh Innes is race baiting,which means I’m out I have no time for the is or isn’t Chip Kelly a racist nonsense,which was repeated over and over and over again and now Josh is rehashing it.Let’s see if the Mike Missanelli bashers rip Josh much like they do Mikey Miss when he dedicate a whole show to race related topics.

  4. The surveillance video, not the one above, showed the train going past the camera in the top corner, followed immediately by a series of flashes, just like above. It is fairly easy to determine the speed based upon how quickly it moved past the camera. 7 cars and 1 engine are 661 feet long. It moved past the camera between 4.0 and 5.0 seconds. That means, without the need to wait for the black box, the train was moving between 90 and 112 miles per hour.
    The speed at that curve is 50. There is a large margin for error in timing the speed of a train on a grainy video but nothing that gets it down to 50.

          1. It’s “Brett,” not “Brad.” Sorry, but it chaps my ass when people misquote that line.

  5. Operator Error. = Exxon Valdez. Italian Cruise ship. Phila Duck Boats.

    Automation ? years away from that.

    Although a DARPA engineer admitted that cars can be hacked into through the ABS braking system……

    ” Open the pod bay doors HAL “

  6. Stigall should just STFU, and stick to bashing Michelle Obama – it’s the only thing he knows how to do.

  7. Sorry guys. I would have more time to connect the dots, as you say, but I am busy making fun of cancer survivors.

  8. Hey guys. We’re looking to sue NBC 10 for using a clip from one of our videos and then claiming it is a video of a train crash.

  9. No, they need to seperate the Northeast Cooridor financially from the rest of Amtrak. The profits from the NEC should be kept in house, not used to subsidize the rest of Amtrak’s losses.

  10. Hello Philadelphia,
    I was on this train. If you have any questions, please contact me.

  11. Kyle, do you honestly believe the unions would allow for fully automated trains thus eliminating their need?

      1. Is there anything reasonable about unions, and their demands anymore? The need for unions was to protect the worker and their rights when no one was looking after them. Now, in our over litigious country, there are a million ambulance chasing lawyers who can do what unions were made to do decades ago. This isn’t a republican/democrat issue/problem, it’s politicians, as a whole,issue. Their only real job/concern is getting elected again, rather than doing what’s right for the greater good.

        1. Exactly. Unions used to have a purpose. But then like they fixed all of the problems. So now we don’t need them.

          Like vaccines. We used to have problems with all sorts of diseases. But the vaccines got rid of them. So now we don’t need vaccines anymore!

  12. Train was going too fast around the bend. In other news, coal is black.


  13. YES!!! MORE MONEY!!!! That’s what we need. The schools need more money, Amtrak needs more money, welfare programs need more money. The government has anywhere between an 18 and 22 trillion dollar debt (well over 100 trillion if you count unfunded liabilities) but let’s throw more money at the problem! Here’s another option. The train was going double the speed limit, why don’t we blame the conductor instead. Oh that’s right, personal accountability is soooo yesterday.

    We could always privatize Amtrak too but that would be really extreme…

    1. You could take it a step further and say: “Why was there even a conductor or engineer on the train?” It seems America should be able to afford a rail system commensurate with other first-world countries. I don’t think that’s overspending.

      1. Great so if a private company wants to invest in an automated rail system, then go for it. How much money has the government (you and I) spent on Amtrak since it’s beginning? Did that bill today include anything that would’ve prevented this? Did you read it? Did anyone read it? No of course not, but it’s just commonplace for the media and leftists (same thing) to try and blame republicans (and I despise this current batch of republican “leaders” almost as much as the left) for everything. Would this bill have guaranteed with 100% certainty that there would never be another rail accident ever again? No, so blaming this on a lack of spending is a little ridiculous.

        1. I’m sure one of the lunatics in that clown car of candidates will save you in 2016. More funding would’ve absolutely sped up implementation of the safety device that could’ve prevented this. Nothing will give 100% certainty, but perhaps it could’ve helped. They’re not concerned with helping working class commuters

          1. The Republican party is dieing along with baseball and the Catholic church. For good reason, they all refuse to evolve. If they would just get out of the way and let some progressive ideas through, we’d all benefit as a result. GOP voters can keep their don’t tread on me bumper stickers and nailing their sisters as the middle class that built this country is completely eradicated. Most people that vote republican are poor, uneducated whites and the funny part is, they vote against their self interests every 4 years because their daddy’s told em to

            1. You live in Philadelphia. It’s been controlled by the iron fist of democrats since the beginning of time. That must be why the city is thriving, has no crime, nobody dependent on welfare and all the productive people aren’t moving to the suburbs. Take some responsibility for once and stop relying on someone else to provide everything for you, you loser.

              1. So you think some conservative could eradicate any need for welfare and stop all crime? Both are necessary evils of millions of people crammed into a decaying area with no opportunity to get out. I happen to be white and live in the suburbs but I want all of us to do well. Sometimes, all of us or the government need to step in and help when there are no opportunities. Terrible schools, minimum wage jobs, fathers locked up by Reagan Era failed drug war policies…these are all factors that make being “productive people” nearly impossible. I find it funny how you all worship Reagan and he’s the one that created this permanent underclass you hate so much and have no empathy for. You complain about the people your political messiah created being a drain on society. Its amusing how there’s no compassion or intelligence on that side of the aisle

        2. More funding would have paid for the track to be replaced by a straight track. Instead we are relying on 100 year old tracks and bridges.

          The rest of the world has trains doing 180 MPH while we have major routes that slow down to 50 MPH. The Japanese Shinkansen has been operating for 50 years. Over 10 billion riders. Do you know how many fatalities there have been? 7 less than the accident in Frankford last night.

          Do you know how many derailments there have been? 2. 1 was during an earthquake, the other was during a blizzard.

          But yea, keep blaming the media and leftists!

          Stop saying stupid crap like funding can’t prevent train derailments.

          1. You know what else would’ve prevented it? The conductor slowing down. How much money has been spent on Amtrak? Does that matter or is it just “spend more money spend more money!”. It must be sad to go through life hoping/relying on the almighty government to handle everything for you.

            1. Well, let’s see. Money buys newer, safer trains and other systems. A system should have been in place that would have stopped the conductor/engineer from going twice the speed limit. That would have most likely prevented this crash. So….in what way does spending more money not solve this problem?

              1. Have we stopped funding Amtrak? I wasn’t aware of that. Again, nobody seems to answer the question, “How much money have we spent on Amtrak?” What is their budget? I’d be curious to know. I’m sure every penny of it is spent well an their belts are as tight as possible.

                  1. Well 2 billion isn’t nearly enough! We should give them 5, maybe 10 billion. Then, all the problems would be solved! Who cares that we have an 18 trillion dollar debt. Spend more!!

                1. How about you look up Amtrak’s budget and see how it compares to the rest of the world? How about you do some research instead of just crying?

                  1. Why are you so obsessed with comparing us to what the rest of the world spends on trains. If those countries are sooo great, go live there. You won’t though, you’ll just whine and cry like a bitch to daddy government to spend more money.

                    1. I spent most of my 20’s living overseas. I moved back to Philly because of family issues.

                      And sorry I want to improve things in this country. I really wish I could be one of them dumb guys who never travels anywhere, but says stupid stuff about how America is the best country in the world, and if you don’t like it, go somewhere else.

                      Most intelligent arguments should be able to be boiled down to a bumper sticker.

            2. Or we could just build a system that doesn’t force the conductor to slow down to 50 on a connection between 2 major cities.

              It doesn’t matter how much money has been spent on Amtrak, obviously it has not been enough. There is no excuse for the United States not to have a train system between Boston and DC that compares to Europe, Japan and China.

              It must be sad to go through life being so incredibly stupid.

              1. Not to mention that if we had a decent public transit system like in other countries some of our traffic problems might be alleviated.

                1. Or we could hope that a union employee wouldn’t kill 7 people. Look for the union label!

        3. You are literally the first person to bring up the “republicans” in this entire discussion (at least on CB) so knock it off with your “stop persecuting the conservatives” bullshit.

          This derailment is just a symptom of the horrifying infrastructure problem in this country and that is a failing of every politician in Washington. They’ve let the problem get so far out of hand that now it will cost tens of billions of dollars to fix but they STILL won’t do anything about it. They all agree that “something” needs to be done but no one wants to actually do anything, like raise the gas tax and fund the fucking federal highway commission.

          Are private companies going to just invest billions of dollars in fixing public roads, bridges, train lines, airports, and seaports? No. They’re fucking not. Because they don’t have to, that’s the government’s job. News flash: businesses won’t spend money on something unless there is a profit to be made. Do you really think that a private corporation is just going to donate $10 billion (not an exaggerated number) to fix the roads and bridges along the I-95 corridor in Philly? If you wait for private companies to just decide to start fixing all this shit for us the country will literally fall apart.

          1. Let’s lay off the incompetent union thug employees and fully automate this sucker

  14. Republicans can’t even do the right thing hours after a tragedy. I guess they can stick to more important issues like banning abortions and deporting mexicans or more Benghazi investigations. Why would anyone vote republican unless you’re old, white and rich?

    1. What’s the right thing? Turn black, overreact and then throw gobs of money at a problem?

      You people.

      1. The right thing is to do what benefits the greatest amount of people. Not to just giftwrap more income to the top 1%. This whole personal accountability thing they champion is an elaborate hoax to make sure the people that don’t matter to them continue to vote against their self interests and slip through the cracks of society. Maybe they’ll all end up in privatized prisons so corporations can make more money

        1. Well said. Its unbelievable to me the amount of people they sucker in with that philosophy. They actually convince poor people to be against raising the minimum wage. That’s actually almost impressive.

          1. They pretend to offer a stepping stool up into the middle class that they are making extinct and then they blame the people they were supposed to help for relying on the government. The same government that bankrupted us from invading the wrong country and putting it on the credit card. And also locked up hundreds of thousands of fathers for petty drug arrests. The drug war, another republican failure. Then they blame lack of a family structure…whose fault is that? I can’t believe they get any votes outside the top 1%. It boggles my mind how so many in this country can be so stupid.

            1. It really is mind boggling.

              Its also these same corporate people who demonize the poor for needing welfare or food stamps or unemployment who rely on massive tax breaks from the government to grow their business. Isn’t that a form of government assistance? Fucking hypocrites.

              1. Exactly, (corporate) welfare is ok if you’re white and running a business. But if you’re a shade of brown and down on your luck, how dare you rely on the government for help. What happened to personal accountability? Republicans and the people that vote for them are an absolute joke. Watch 5 minutes of Fox News, if you can do so without laughing or being disgusted, and its obvious what’s standing in the way of progress in this country.

                  1. Seriously, I’ve never seen a more mutual masturbatory thread in my life! Good God, I’m about ready to hurl.

                    1. NEWS FLASH – Philly agrees with you 100% They haven’t considered a Republican idea in 60 years. Every problem with Philly is a Democrat Party failure. Thanks for coming

  15. I take this train all the time and honestly thought they were more computer driven.

  16. Unions gave you the weekends off. 8 hour days instead of 12-16 hrs.
    5 Wal mart stores were closed and 400 people lost their jobs because the Walton family hates unions.

    Bow down before the One you serve.

    1. They also gave us lazy, good for nothing, useless dolts who cannot be fired. Don’t forget the 1 guy works while 3 others stand around and watch rule. Also, the ‘construction sites’ that block off 6 miles of highway (to work on 100 feet of it) at heavy volume times and slow up thousands of commuters to a crawl while the construction crew stand around and drink coffee or are absent altogether? Yep, union guys. What the union have really given us are higher prices for goods and more businesses having to go under because of union greed (that mostly gets filtered to the Democrats like their personal laundry). Unions might have had a valid purpose a hundred years ago, but today… not so much.

  17. Amtrak is mostly controlled by the Federal Govt and already gets over a billion per fiscal year of our money. SO what gives you confidence that MORE of our tax dollars thrown to Amtrak would of actually prevented this, when they already have mismanaged and wasted billions?

    The engineer was speeding, he’ll be prosecuted. End of story.

    1. I mean, that really depends on how much money is costs to run Amtrak. After all, they have train routes all over the country and in Canada. You have to account for the employees, trains, tracks, maintenance, and all sorts of other resources that Amtrak requires to make all those trains run on time and do so safely. That probably costs about $2 billion a year. Just because they get 2 billion a year and that isn’t allegedly isn’t enough (or at least it wasn’t for the safety upgrade that probably would have prevented this disaster) doesn’t mean its mismanaged or that they waste money. You assume that because it sounds like so much money but try to think about how money everything Amtrak does would actually cost.

      What I’d actually like to know is how much that safety upgrade would have cost.

      1. The cost is indeterminable because any money that goes in will inevitably get sucked up and misused. A large government contribution and the unions would just go on strike and bitch and moan about how being a train engineer warrants more money.

        And then these same engineers will speed at twice the speed limit of the train and fucking derail it.

        Blame the fucking unions not the republicans… the funds are wasted.

        1. So, are you saying that 100% of the funding for Amtrak and similar government and quasi-government agencies is “sucked up and misused?” That makes no sense.

          A larger government contribution would have allowed Amtrak to afford the safety upgrade that would have prevented the train from going so fast around that curve in the first place. I must have missed the part where “the unions” prevented Congress from passing an adequate infrastructure funding bill.

          Train engineers make an average salary of about $65k a year. I’m pretty sure no one is lobbying to raise their salaries at this point.

        2. The unions built this country and its once large and thriving middle class workforce. Republicans have been setting fire to all of that ever since Reagan, and its only gotten worse. If you get your wish, President Walker will destroy the economy worse than good ole W did. Funny how with a Democrat in office, the economy has steadily improved and things have gotten much better. That’s an indisputable fact. Wake up dude, block Fox News from your channel line up and the talking points may slowly fade away and you can use your own brain again. Any one of the Democratic candidates are better than that whole flaming dumpster fire of nut jobs on the other side.

          1. It’s easy to throw tax dollars at problems when you don’t pay much. The 1% pay 95% of the tax dollars, that’s why we care how the money is spent. I think we should all pay an equal amount (libs like equality) then spend away. I can spend other peoples money too! Also, I love the people who pay no tax (40 % of Americans) that bitch about the 1% and how “evil” they are but rely on their money (tax dollars) for all of their project funding. Funny how the world works??

            1. I want safer, cheaper, and more abundant trains, goddammit, and you are going to pay for it! You also better make sure my union “brother” can’t screw it up!

            2. We?

              I guess you are right.

              You probably still live with your parents. And your dad makes you listen to 1210 in the car all day. So I can see how you consider yourself part of the 1%.

              1. Do I detect some hate Br. Bobroe. Let the jealousy go, you will have a better life. Also, unlike you I moved out of my parents house right after college, took a 100% commission job and never looked back. Worked hard, and now I am enjoying the rewards. I will stop your next comment, my parents are middle class too so no silver spoon.

        3. I HAVE THE ANSWER:

          A bill to be introduced in Congress -bipartisan – titled: Train Operator Extortion Assessment

          Funds will be allocated for the purpose of bribing the engineer to drive the train at the speed determined by safety concerns and considerations under any prevailing condition. The bribe money would be in addition to the usual wage or salary disbursed, since that clearly is not enough to keep Amtrak engineers from exceeding reasonable speed limits.

          We could learn some lessons from our brethren and sistern in the Third World.
          Palm greasing: it’s the new black.

      2. Amtrak has never made a profit. It’s a government black hole of poor management and poor service, just like the Post Office and the VA.

        If we want to compete with other rail systems of other countries, maybe we should privatize, like them.

        1. Look, there is no doubt that Amtrak needs to be seriously realigned. There are many unprofitable routes that waste tons of money (namely the one from California to Chicago) that should be eliminated or paired back to save money. On the other hand there are a lot of seriously profitable and shorter routes, like the Acela for example.

        2. The great thing about privatizing is that safety records always improve!

          It’s like how there is never a truck accident on the highway. Those companies are so concerned about safety that they never have drivers staying up 30 hours in a row.

  18. Hopefully the AMTRAK conductor and Mayor Nutter will move on to work for UBER.
    A lot of ILLEGALS will make money filling in for AMTRAK this week.

    UBER is a $40 billion Company operating an illegal transportation application.
    A great example of Affirmative Action at work to circumvent safety.

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