Archive for the Trains Category

This Date in History

Posted in March, Trains on March 19, 2011 by Kent

March 19, 1917: The Supreme Court, in Wilson v. New, upholds the eight-hour workday for railroad workers.eight-hours-work-day-poster

Bad Day for Rail in the City

Posted in Trains, Wrecks, Collisions, & Accidents on April 22, 2009 by Kent

overturned-locomotive-at-benning-yardAccording to the Post, two CSX Corp. locomotives overturned about 11:15 a.m. yesterday near the 200 block of 33rd Street SE, near Anacostia Park. Hazmat crews were containing less than 100 gallons of fuel and lubricant that spilled from the locomotives. CSX will lead the cleanup effort after the chemicals are fully contained. There was no perceived danger to the community.

Acela Lowers Rates, Is It Enough?

Posted in Trains on February 20, 2009 by Kent

acelaAmtrak is responding to a dip in business ridership by reducing fares on its Acela. I have to say, when I’ve been on Acela I’ve really liked it, and when going to New York rail is my preferred form of transportation.

Here’s a question you have to ask yourself, though. The price for a regional train from Washington to New York is currently $72 and takes about 3 hours and 20 minutes. If Amtrak lowers the Acela tickets to $99 for the same trip, and it takes 2 hours and 45 minutes, does saving 35 minutes make it worth the additional $27?

Then and Now

Posted in Presidents, Trains on January 18, 2009 by Kent

roosevelt-whistle-stopThen: President Roosevelt speaking from his train at Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1905 (Photo courtesy the Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division. #LC-DIG-ppmsca-18927)

obama-whistle-stopNow: As part of the 2009 Inaugural festivities, the whistle stop train passes through Edgewood, Md., on its way to Washington, D.C., the tour’s final destination. President-elect Barack Obama arrived in Washington around 6:30 p.m., January 17, but there was no formal celebration. (Preston Keres-The Washington Post)

Crash of the Federal Express (Train #173)

Posted in Train Stations, Trains, Wrecks, Collisions, & Accidents on January 16, 2009 by Kent

Yesterday, as noted in This Date in History, was the anniversary of the 1953 crash of the train Federal Express. The train had departed from Boston late the evening before with a full compliment of people heading to Washington for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s first inauguration.

A sticking brake caused a stop in Kingston Swamp, Rhode Island. An inspection was made, and the angle cock that controlled the air brake connection between the third and fourth car was found in the closed position. This prevented the cars to the rear of the third car from having the brake released from the locomotive. The angle cock was opened and the train resumed, being 56 minutes behind schedule.

federal-expressThe train arrived in New Haven and the diesel engine was changed for a New Haven Railroad electric locomotive. Three cars were added and the crew changed. The new crew was not informed of the earlier brake problem. The now 16-car train left for New York 45 minutes late.

The brakes operated correctly several times between New Haven and New York City, and the train arrived at Pennsylvania Station 38 minutes late. In New York, the New Haven Railroad electric locomotive was changed, and the train left New York with Pennsylvania GG1 number 4876 in the lead and engineer Harry Brower at the controls.

The Federal Express made stops at Philadelphia, Wilmington and arrived in Baltimore 35 minutes late. The brakes were applied 14 times between New York and Baltimore without a problem. More>>

This Date in History

Posted in January, Trains, Wrecks, Collisions, & Accidents on January 15, 2009 by Kent

On January 15, 1953, at 8:38 am, the Federal Express, losing the ability to break, crashed into Union Station at an estimated speed of 35-50 MPH.