Posts for amtrak

The Definitive Account of the Amtrak Train Derailment

Kyle Scott - January 26, 2016

New York Times Magazine has put together what is easily the most detailed and exhausted account of what happened to Amtrak 188 last May. A sampling:

There are two main schools of thought on what may have caused Bostian to lose his bearings. The first takes into account the rockings in the vicinity and Bostian’s own reported account of his train being struck by a large object, his forehead wounds and a small pocked dent on the left side of the windshield — a dent of the kind typically produced by a rock. “To me, it’s pretty clear what happened,” Richard Beall, the longtime accident investigator, told me. “Bostian’s got the throttle open to get the train up to speed. A projectile hits the windshield. Now the windshields on these locomotives are thick, but that impact is going to be out of nowhere and scary. As a human, you’ve got a tendency to duck. But he ducks into the dashboard and smacks his head, knocks himself out. And by the time he’s back up, and he’s reoriented himself, it’s: ‘Oh, crap.’ ”

Of course, other engineers, struck by projectiles in exactly the same place on the Northeast Corridor, managed to keep their trains from overturning — a point that Beall willingly concedes. “It happens, it’s violent and terrifying, but you move on,” he told me. Which brings up the second, and not mutually exclusive, possibility. This situation takes place in the same time frame but has Bostian lost, confusing Frankford Junction with the curve before it and realizing his mistake only at the last moment. Several people involved in the investigation offered the analogy of a driver on a long and darkened freeway, mesmerized by the unending roll of asphalt. A kind of hypnosis takes over. The driver, fatigued, looks up to see his exit, but it’s already starting to pass, and the car swerves off the road at a dangerous speed. If Bostian had been rocked earlier in the trip, they said, this might have only added to his confusion, putting him on edge.

This is just a small part, which considers the possibility that the train was hit with debris shortly before it derailed and takes into account the fact that the engineer was exhausted after a difficult first leg of his roundtrip from New York to Washington. It’s long, but well worth a lunchtime read.

Photo: NY Times Magazine

Texans Saddened Over Kristen Lee’s Affinity for Philly Transit

Kyle Scott - December 21, 2010

Nodding approval

That brings the total number of supporters for our aging rail systems to… [calculating]… [still calculating]… one.

The more we learn about why Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies, the more we realize just how damn influential his wife is.

Thanks to reader Tom for sending along this story from the Star-Telegram, which basically just regurgitates what Kristen told reporters last week in Philly- quotes we missed in chaos of CP Lee.

She prefers Philadelphia for the cultural opportunities and the dining, she said.

But mostly — she really likes the trains.

Kristen Lee wanted her husband to return to the Phillies because of "how easy it is to get from point A to point B" in Philadelphia, she was quoted as saying by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Phillies play three miles from City Hall. The stadium is a $1.85 ride from downtown on the Broad Street Line, plus a three-block walk.

Arlington has a train from Dallas and Fort Worth. Barely.

The Trinity Railway Express skirts the north edge of Arlington and stops six miles from the stadium.

So everybody drives. And waits in traffic.

She's also happy to be a 11/2-hour train ride away from road games in New York or Washington.

"We liked the easy travel on a train for our kids to other cities," Kristen Lee was quoted.


I'll tell you what, I would not want to mess with Kristen Lee.

It's also funny to read how butt-hurt Texans are, as they lick their wounds and bloviate their introspective insecurities about their city's commuter rail system.  They also really don't like to write in paragraphs.

Of course, none of this is news.  Our source, last Tuesday– before Kristen ever spoke to reporters.

They are happy because they can get a house down at the Jersey shore for Kristen and the kids to stay in, and they like that they are only a short train ride from other big cities.

And that comes five days after ESPN confirmed our report that the Phillies were determined to not let $5 million come between them and the Lees.

I really don't know why you would go anywhere else for your Cliff Lee stalking.