Thursday, May 25, 2006

Gomez Made It Look So Much More Exciting

There was a train collision at Penn Station in downtown Pittsburgh last night. It wasn't your classic Gomez Addams style head-on impact of two speeding trains heading in opposite directions on the same track. The Amtrak Capitol Limited was making its regular Pittsburgh stop on the Chicago-to-Washington run. A freight train rammed the passenger train from behind and gave everyone quite a "jolt", as someone put it. The rail line belongs to Norfolk Southern, but the locomotive (as seen in the news story) was from the Allegheny Valley Railroad (AVR), a shortline that mostly works up and down the Allegheny River. AVR was trying to get a passenger line started up a few years ago, but politics buried the whole works. Could this be AVR's message warning other passenger lines to get out of its way? (Just kidding.)

Naturally this happens just a few weeks before my family is going on a cross-country Amtrak ride to California. Amtrak can wreck and derail quite well on its own, thank you. We don't need freight trains banging into them to compound the problem. Or the fractures.

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