Amtrak resumed normal operations between Philadelphia and New York Monday morning — a day earlier than expected following the deadly derailment of Amtrak Train 188 last Tuesday.
“Amtrak staff and crew have been working around the clock to repair the infrastructure necessary to restore service for all the passengers who travel along the Northeast Corridor,” said Joe Boardman, the company’s president and CEO, in a statement issued Sunday.
The first departures were Train 111 out of New York at 5:30 a.m. and Train 110 from Philly at 5:53 a.m.
Amtrak enlisted the service of a Bucks County fabrication company, PennFab. which began working around the clock Thursday afternoon to construct two new steel structures that hold the overhead wires above the rail lines, according to The Inquirer.
Each one requires about 15 tons of metal. Typically, they take at least six weeks to create.
Amtrak asked Mabin if his company could build two in three days.
“We’ll do whatever you have to do,” Mabin told them. “We eat and breathe this stuff.”
Mabin’s team had the work complete in time for Amtrak to restore normal service for the Monday morning commute.
Local and national officials, including Gov. Tom Wolf, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (D – Pa.) and U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, gathered at the Frankford crash site for a memorial service Sunday to honor the lives of the eight people killed in the fatal wreck — including Rachel Jacobs, CEO of Philly-based tech startup AppernNet.
“I can’t imagine the grief and shock that Tuesday brought to your doorsteps,” said Foxx, according toNBC10. “And I know there’s nothing any of us can say to bring your comfort. But we will nevertheless spend the rest of our careers attempting to honor the memory of your loved ones. We will honor them by making sure this never happens again.”
Funeral arrangements have been set for several of the passengers killed in the crash. Jacobs will be laid to rest Monday in her home state of Michigan. Family and co-workers of the Swarthmore College alum have announced plans to establish a scholarship in her honor.
More than 200 people were hurt and more than a dozen were still hospitalized Sunday night,Philly.com reported. Eli Kulp, the award-winning chef and co-owner of High Street on Market and Fork restaurant, underwent surgery for injuries he sustained in the violent accident.
The derailment has raised questions about the safety of traveling by rail — some wondering if seatbelts could have prevented any deaths or injuries, the New York Times reported.
Tuesday’s derailment was unusual in that some passenger coaches rolled onto their sides, causing injuries that seatbelts might have prevented. But it may also turn out that fatal injuries came from being crushed, or from objects like rails or poles that speared into the coaches — hazards that seatbelts would not address.
When a car on a highway collides with another vehicle, or hits a stationary obstacle like a tree, a big part of the danger is sudden, extreme deceleration. That is the main reason seatbelts are so effective. Every object in the car that is not restrained keeps moving forward at high speed. That includes humans, who can fly forward into steering wheels and through windshields, suffering potentially fatal impact injuries.
But a train is so massive, with so much momentum, that it almost never experiences that kind of deceleration.
Engineer Brandon Bostian said he has no memory of the derailment. Investigators have indicated speed was a factor in the devastating wreck. Reports that an object struck the train moments before the derailment are still under investigation, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.