Amtrak Northeast Service Resumes After Deadly Crash - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Amtrak Northeast Service Resumes After Deadly Crash

Amtrak Northeast Service Resumes After Deadly Crash
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New sections of track is trucked in after an Amtrak train derailment May 14, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Amtrak says rail service between New York and Philadelphia will be up and running Monday, a day earlier than previously announced.

Service will resume with departures at 5:53 a.m. from Philadelphia and at 5:30 a.m. from New York City. All Amtrak Acela Express, Northeast Regional and other services will be operating officials said.

Company President Joseph Boardman said Amtrak staff and crew have been working around the clock to restore service following Tuesday night's crash that killed eight people and injured more than 200 others.

At a service Sunday evening at the site to honor the crash victims, Boardman choked up as he called Tuesday as "the worst day for me as a transportation professional." He vowed that the wrecked train and its passengers "will never be forgotten."

"We'll open with service tomorrow morning, a safer service," Boardman said Sunday. "We quickly made changes, and I'm grateful. I'm thankful."

Travel along this section of the corridor has been suspended Since the May 12 crash.

"Our infrastructure repairs have been made with the utmost care and emphasis on infrastructure integrity including complete compliance with Federal Railroad Administration directives," Boardman said. 

Tracks and other equipment needed to be repaired after last week's train derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight people and left more than 200 injured.

Federal regulators on Saturday ordered Amtrak to expand use of a speed-control system long in effect for southbound trains near the crash site to northbound trains in the same area.

Federal Railroad Administration spokesman Kevin Thompson said Sunday the automatic train control system is now fully operational on the northbound tracks. Trains going through that section of track will be governed by the system, which alerts engineers to slow down when their trains go too fast and automatically applies the brakes if the train continues to speed.

The agency also ordered Amtrak to examine all curves along the Northeast Corridor and determine if more can be done to improve safety, and to add more speed limit signs along the route.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told the 150 people present at Sunday's service that Amtrak's action on the ordered changes was one way to honor the eight passengers killed in the crash. Many were riding home to their families, he said.

"Their memories forever in our minds will fuel our work to make intercity passenger rail and our entire network in the United States stronger and safer," he said.

Mayor Michael Nutter praised the work of first responders, hospital personnel and residents he called "citizen responders" who rushed toward the wreckage with bottled water and who opened their doors to shocked victims. He read the names of the deceased as a bell tolled and eight doves were released just after a choral group sang "Amazing Grace."

Almost 20 people injured in the train crash remain in Philadelphia hospitals, five in critical condition. All are expected to survive.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board, meanwhile, have focused on the acceleration of the train as it approached the curve, finally reaching 106 mph as it entered the 50-mph stretch north of central Philadelphia, and only managing to slow down slightly before the crash.

The Amtrak engineer, who was among those injured in the crash, has told authorities that he does not recall anything in the few minutes before it happened. Characterizing engineer Brandon Bostian as extremely safety conscious, a close friend said he believed reports of something striking the windshield were proof that the crash was "not his fault."

"He's the one you'd want to be your engineer. There's none safer," James Weir of Burlison, Tennessee, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Sunday.

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