Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak engineer’

Comparing Notes

June 1, 2020

An Amtrak conductor talks over business with the locomotive engineer who has just come on duty in Sacramento, California, on the eastbound California Zephyr.

I don’t know what they were discussing. It could be making sure they have the same set of train orders or that they are on the same page for how a certain operation will be handled.

No. 6 makes a long stop in Sacramento and boards a heavy load of passengers.

But soon it will be on its way toward one of the most scenic rides in America over Donner Pass on former Southern Pacific tracks through the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Charges Against Amtrak Engineer Dismissed

July 24, 2019

Criminal charges against an Amtrak engineer in connection with 2015 crash that left eight people dead have been dropped.

The charges against Brian Bostian were dismissed after Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas Judge Barbara McDermott ruled that his behavior before the derailment did not rise to the level of criminal recklessness.

It was the second time that criminal charges against Bostian have been dropped.

The derailment occurred on May 12, 2015, when Amtrak Train 188 entered a curve near Philadelphia traveling 106 mph, which was more than twice the posted speed limit.

The derailment also left 150 people injured.

In announcing her ruling, McDermott said, “The law recognizes there is the occasional case where a departure from the rule may be appropriate.”

A National Transportation Safety Board report concluded that Bostian had lost situational awareness just before the derailment.

He had faced 216 counts of reckless endangerment, one count of causing a catastrophe, and eight counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Christopher Phillips, a deputy attorney general with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, said his office plans to appeal the dismissal of the charges against Bostian.

Bostian was initially charged in May 2017, but those charged were thrown out that September by Judge Thomas Gehert.

Judge Kathryn S. Lewi later reinstated the charges after ruling that Judge Gehert had erred and there was sufficient evidence to go to trial.

Time to Go to Work on the Head End

November 30, 2016


The outbound engineer of Amtrak train No. 6 is climbing the steps to take his place in the cab of P42DC No. 76 as it prepares to depart from Sacramento, California, on June 26, 1999.

The train still has a long way to go to reach Chicago and shortly after departing from Sacramento the passengers will enjoy some of the best scenery that the route has to offer in the Golden State.

The route through the Sierra Nevada Mountains can be stunning.

The California Zephyr will travel through the Nevada and Utah deserts and high plateaus during nighttime hours and passengers will have yet another day of mountain scenery as it passes through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Of course, this engineer won’t be around to see the Rockies. He’ll be getting off well before then to return to Sacramento.