Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak News’

Philly 30th Street Getting New Information Boards

December 7, 2018

The venerable Solari board at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia as it appeared in May 2016.

The old Solari Board at Amtrak’s William H. Gray III 30th Street Station in Philadelphia is headed for museum while a new display is set to debut.

In a news release, Amtrak said the Passenger Information Display System that is being installed in Philadelphia is part of a project underway to replace display panels at each gate, revamp the public address system and change platform to become ADA compliant.

Amtrak said the new PIDS board will display gate and track information and have ADA features.

After is become operational later this month, the passenger carrier will upgrade display boards in ClubAcela Lounge, the food court, on the platforms and in other areas of the station.

The Philadelphia station also is getting renovations to ClubAcela Lounge, a lactation suite to provide mothers with a clean, dignified and private space to pump and nurse, and the retrofitting of eight of the moveable wooden waiting benches on with power outlets for portable and mobile devices.

During fiscal year 2018, Amtrak handled 4.4 million passengers at Philadelphia, making it the third busiest station in the national Amtrak system.

Altoona Station Elevator Back in Service

December 7, 2018

The elevator from a bridge to the boarding platform in Altoona, Pennsylvania, is now operational.

The elevator links the 10th Avenue pedestrian bridge to the platform and had been out of service since July when it failed a pressure test.

Passengers had to carry their luggage up the steps to the bridge or rely on others to help them.

The Altoona Mirror reported that the pressure test examined the hydraulic cylinder that lifts the elevator car “to see if it pops.”

The test found a bad seal. Another test conducted by Eastern Elevator found a leak in the pipes that that connects the pump room under the platform stairway with the cylinder, which is directly under the elevator car.

The leak was in a section of pipe embedded in a concrete floor so workers installed new piping overhead to connect the pump room and cylinder to avoid having to cut into the concrete floor.

Altoona is served by Amtrak’s New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian.

Man Who Helped Halt Separated Amtrak Train Lauded

December 7, 2018

A man who activated an emergency break during a break apart of an Amtrak train has been honored for his quick thinking.

Reuben Clarke, a freshman at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, pulled an emergency brake after two cars of the New York-bound Adirondack separated about 20 minutes after Train No. 68 left the Albany-Rensselaer, New York, station.

Patrick Madden, the mayor Troy, New York, singled out Clarke for his quick thinking during the Nov. 21 incident.

Activating the brake brought the cars to a halt, officials said.

“It shows great leadership. It shows quick thinking skills. I’m very proud of him,” Madden said.

Clarke was aboard the train en route to his home in West Haven, Connecticut.

“I looked at the back of the train car and I see the car is detached and there was a huge load of panic,” said Clarke, who is majoring in biomedical engineering.

“I was kind of scared myself, but luckily something just came into me to just try to control what you can control.”

Madden was on campus to honor the college’s football team, of which Clarke is an offensive lineman. The team finished its season with a 10-2 record and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA III playoffs.

Amtrak said it continues to investigate the incident, which the carrier has described as a “mechanical issue.”

There were no injuries in the incident and a rescue train took passengers to New York’s Penn Station.

Clarke’s coach, Ralph Isernia, also lauded his player, saying it was exactly what he seeks in a football player.

“The people that he helped on that train, he was thinking more of the whole group rather than just trying to save himself,” Isernia said.

Union Says Call Center Relocation Talks Slow

December 7, 2018

Union leaders say negotiations with Amtrak over the planned closing of a reservations center in Riverside, California, have gotten off to a slow start with the two side far apart.

Jack Dinsdale, national vice president of the Transportation Communications Union, which represents the Amtrak reservation center workers said the two sides are talking about relocation expenses for up to 500 call-center employees.

Amtrak has said it plans to close the facility on Jan. 18, 2019. Employees will be given the opportunity to relocate to another call center located in Philadelphia.

Dinsdale said union negotiators are trying to ensure that workers do not have to make a decision about moving to Philadelphia on very short notice.

“We’re not close to anything, and nothing’s certain,” Dinsdale said. “I am of the opinion that we have a long way to go.”

The union has said that an appropriate relocation allowance would be $12,000 but Dinsdale said Amtrak has proposed offering half that amount.

When Amtrak in 2003 closed a reservations center in Chicago it offered a $7,500 allowance to workers who agreed to move to Riverside.

An Amtrak spokesperson would not comment on the talks other than to say they were in an early stage.

In the meantime the union is seeking to prod California elected officials to put pressure on Amtrak.

“The main thing is, we’re trying to give our people enough time,” Dinsdale said. “When they closed the Chicago office they gave those people six months.”

Amtrak To Test, Train on Point Defiance Route

December 7, 2018

Amtrak will be conducting training and testing this month on the Point Defiance Bypass in Washington State.

The runs will be conducted during both daytime and nighttime hours at speeds of up to 79 p.m. on Dec. 8 and between Dec. 15 and 16.

The route extends between Tacoma and DuPont and passes through Lakewood.

Amtrak plans to begin scheduled service on the route next spring.

The passenger carrier had started service over the Point Defiance Bypass in late 2017, but on Dec. 18, the first day of service, Cascades Service train 501 derailed on a curve near DuPont.

Investigators have said the train was traveling too fast at the time of the derailment, which left three dead.