Train Derails on SEPTA Market-Frankford Line
Last Saturday, another train derailed in Philadelphia. This time it was on the elevated Market-Frankford line. There were no serious injuries or deaths.
When a SEPTA train derailed as it was nearing Spring Garden Station, just north of the Center City tunnel, it was fortunately going at a slow speed which made a potential catastrophe merely a partial derailment with no serious injuries. This comes as good news not only for passengers but for the embattled train industry that operates in and throughout Philadelphia. The Philly railways have seen more than their fair share of accidents, many fatal, since 2015 when Amtrak train 188 when 8 people where killed and hundreds injured when a speeding train completely derailed making it one of Pennsylvania's worst train derailments in recent history. Just a few weeks ago a high speed train struck and unoccupied train car inside an Upper Darby transit terminal causing 42 injured persons.
Initially the first=responders en route to the call of a derailed train were expecting the worst and were more than happy after finding it was a minor incident, although quite inconvenient and definitely a rough, scary ride for the passengers on board.
Passengers that were on board the train when it partially derailed were held in the train until the powerful third rail's electricity was turned off and it was safe for them to be evacuated to a nearby station.
There were 30 people on board the Market-Frankford partial derailment and everyone was ok except for one passenger that was admitted to the hospital for heat exhaustion.
Initial government traffic cameras presented an off angle of the errant train that made it look as if the lead car was turned perpendicular to the tracks, looking worse than it really was. Local TV helicopters found a better angle and could see that it was actually only a slight derailment.
Apparently the tracks were under construction and the train needed to cross over to the oncoming tracking to avoid the maintenance. At the cross over, where trains typically slow down due to the higher risk of malfunctions, something was amiss and the train derailed.
SEPTA labeled the cause of the mishap, "equipment issues," and quickly deployed a fleet of shuttle buses that would take passengers to and from the Eighth Street and Berks stations.
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Spring Garden Station is a busy train terminal due to its proximity to both the south and northbound lanes of I-95, which are notorious bottlenecks during rush hours.
One must ask what is going on with the transportation authorities and all of these train incidents lately. Are they underfunded? Are they too lazy to do their jobs? Are they inept? Are their maintenance crews and drivers not trained properly? Are the trains too old for the job? I think all of this needs to be looked in to. This high frequency of train incidents needs to be much lower.