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No way to run a railroad:
Three fatal AMTRAK crashes
in 49 days

American Thinker, by Thomas Lifson

Original Article

Posted By:magnante, 2/4/2018 8:55:57 AM

Horrible news from South Carolina this morning. If America is going to have a passenger rail system, we have to do much better than this. (snip) It would appear that something is seriously wrong with the way passenger rail is operating in the United States under the federal corporation AMTRAK. This crash is the third fatal AMTRAK crash since the AMTRAK Cascades train derailed in Washington State at the cost of 3 lives and 62 passenger injuries only 49 days ago. Last Wednesday’s crash in Virginia of a train carrying Congressional Republicans to a retreat killed one. And now, the


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Reply 1 - Posted by: bamapreacher, 2/4/2018 9:06:36 AM     (No. 11533272)

Combine government bureaucrats with unions and this is what you get.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: enemyofthestate, 2/4/2018 9:16:51 AM     (No. 11533279)

I never use Amtrak. There must be a reason.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: hershey, 2/4/2018 9:29:50 AM     (No. 11533288)

ISIS???? Ya notice the Fibbers haven´t said anything about cause for any of these...

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Ribald1, 2/4/2018 9:41:38 AM     (No. 11533297)

Trains had their day in the sun, but that was over 100 years ago.
Time to retire a few to museums and give the rest a mercy killing.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: BeatleJeff, 2/4/2018 9:43:02 AM     (No. 11533298)

Let´s be fair here - the first crash was a speed issue on a badly designed stretch of track. Partially Amtrak´s fault (the speed, not the design). The second was because of some boneheaded truck driver trying to beat a train through an intersection. Not Amtrak´s fault. The jury is out on the cause of last night´s accident, so we don´t know if the fault lies with the Amtrak driver, the CSX driver, or the switch operators. All three happened on track not owned by Amtrak. Yet Lifson sees fit to use these accidents to excoriate Amtrak (which, full disclosure, I do ride from time to time). If you ask me, that´s no way to run an opinion column.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: clayusmcret, 2/4/2018 9:53:54 AM     (No. 11533310)

The personnel and passengers on both trains were lucky it happened where it did. Being inside/near the Columbia, SC metro area meant that neither train was probably up to full speed (this is a maybe). However, the biggest bit of luck was that they were near enough to a metropolitan area for a full-on emergency response. This could have been so much worse.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: oldmagnolia, 2/4/2018 10:02:38 AM     (No. 11533316)

I used Amtrak many times in the past and always enjoyed the ride. The tracks are owned by the freight train companies. They always have the right of way so Amtrak trains have to stop, take the side track and wait until the freight train passes. This costs delays all the time. So, it could be that the switching was not done. Let´s see whose fault is before judging.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: oldmagnolia, 2/4/2018 10:05:28 AM     (No. 11533320)

Sorry for the second post. I used commuter trains for 15 years going to work. I cannot tell you how many times there were wrecks because the trucks or cars wanted to cross the tracks when they knew the train was coming. That combined with people committing suicide. I always felt sorry for the train conductor who couldn´t do anything about it knowing full well what was going to happen.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: strike3, 2/4/2018 10:31:04 AM     (No. 11533344)

AMTRAK is priced about four times the cost of flying to Florida from my area, buses are cramped and full of rude, shady characters and I refuse to fly anymore so I enjoy a car ride a couple of times a year.

Regardless of who was at fault, now would not be a good time for AMTRAK to start advertising to fill the inevitable passenger volume downturn. It doesn´t take very advanced technology to secure an intersection to positively prevent a crash but they apparently would rather put their money elsewhere.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Nevadadad46, 2/4/2018 10:31:30 AM     (No. 11533345)

I like #5´s comment. very well considered- reasoned.

The trouble with trains are not the trains. they have proven to be well engineered, comfortably, strong. Without trains, believe me, this economy stops, people starve to death. I know that technology exists that could very effectively stop a lot of these accidents, especially the one´s like last night. A new re-think of how crossings are protected would help tremendously on other´s like the "Republican Train" last week. And there is no way in H the one earlier last year should have happened- that was pure boneheaded stupidity on a lot of idiot´s plates.

Be that as it may- trains are still just about the safest possible way to travel.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: ida lou pino, 2/4/2018 10:45:08 AM     (No. 11533352)

When - - oh, when - - will the spineless jellyfish who call themselves Pubbies stop subsidizing this socialist monstrosity - - and sell off its assets to a private railroad company?

Pubbies show guts - - spine? Yes - - i know - - I know - - I´m living in a fantasy world.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: Hotrod, 2/4/2018 12:22:32 PM     (No. 11533448)

The trucking industry is what hurt the railroads so bad. Trucks deliver freight quicker, to more specific locations. Even to your front door.

I do believe there would be a better market for passenger trains, if they served more locations and had some express trains for long-distance travel. However, it would have to be privatized. Use some infrastructure money to update tracks, crossings and safety features, but get the government out of operating it. The airline lobby would have to be resisted by the politicians too.

I, too, no longer fly. The last times I flew I felt like I was living on borrowed time!

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Reply 13 - Posted by: bamboozle, 2/4/2018 2:22:59 PM     (No. 11533580)

The engineer and conductor of the Amtrak locomotive were both killed so we will likely never know if a CSX signal was missed before the accident. Prayers are needed for both and for their families. Did they miss a restricting signal? Was the CSX train in the wrong spot? Was a switch incorrectly set? As a previous poster noted, the tracks, signals, maintenance, and dispatching are all the responsibility of CSX.

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