Surveillance video strongly suggests Amtrak 188 derailment due to overspeed

A surveillance video in Port Richmond caught a brief glimpse of Amtrak 188 Tuesday night, and what it saw strongly suggests that the train was well over the maximum speed for the track segment immediately before it derailed. The video, which was obtained and broadcast by CNN, shows the doomed train pass seconds before a […]

How to go around the Northeast Corridor shutdown after the Frankford Junction derailment

UPDATE 5/14: As of Thursday morning, SEPTA and NJT are co-ordinating detour service via the West Trenton Line.  SEPTA will be running a new weekday schedule with about twice as many trains as normal.  NJT will be providing free shuttle buses between West Trenton station and Trenton Transit Center.  SEPTA is also providing extra parking […]

Amtrak derailment in North Philadelphia tonight

According to initial reports, Amtrak train 188 has derailed at or near SHORE interlocking, near Frankford Avenue and Wheatsheaf Lane in North Philadelphia.  Former Congressman Patrick Murphy has tweeted photos from the inside of a cafe car that has rolled on to its side, showing injured passengers and first responders at the scene. The Philadelphia […]

Looking back, looking ahead: New Year’s roundup 2015

In the last night of the year, five things we’ll remember from 2014: The year of citizen action.  I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much when Conrad Benner launched a change.org petition to get SEPTA to run the subways overnight.  But it worked, and now another petition has sparked progress on a second front, in […]

Weekly Roundup: Pay as you enter, IBEW settles, police body cams, Greenlee may be a fool, and Previdi definitely is

Another edition brought to you by the World’s Worst Blogger: In the end of an era, SEPTA has announced that, beginning on September 1, pay-as-you-leave will be abolished on the Suburban Transit routes out of 69th Street Terminal where it is currently the rule. This will standardize the entire SEPTA transit system on the more […]

America is about Freedom. Freedom comes from Frequency.

Greetings from East Glacier, Montana! I hope everyone back in Greater Philadelphia had a good holiday weekend, and that the weather I hear you’ve been having hasn’t been inconveniencing you too badly. The scenery here is breathtaking, and the weather has been mild and cooperative. I want to tell a few stories about Frequency Anxiety […]

SEPTA Regional Rail on strike for first time since 1983

Engineers and electricians hit picket lines at the close of the service day last night, marking the first strike against SEPTA Regional Rail since the first year SEPTA operated the service. Governor Corbett is publicly stating that he will ask President Obama to compel workers back to the negotiating table and back to work, under […]

The night time is the right time – Pittsburgh by sleeper

Part 3 of a 3 part series. Last time, before I got sick, I explored the various ways in which state investment could improve rail service between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. But even an optimistic projection of funding for new trainsets and track upgrades couldn’t bring PHL-PGH trip times much below six hours. Six hours is […]

The iron road to the Steel City: Keystone West

Part 2 of a 3 part series. So, the question I posed yesterday was, “How can intercity rail help fix the mess that is travel between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia today?” The key to implementing any program of improvement to the Keystone West line (the term of art for trains that continue west of Harrisburg), will […]

Two cities separated by a common everything: Pittsburgh and Philadelphia

Part 1 of a 3 part series. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh would probably be inextricably linked together even if history hadn’t lumped them together into the same state. As it stands, though, we have a lot more than an ugly blue flag and a bunch of corrupted mountebanks in Harrisburg in common. Both cities fell hard […]