UnNews:Train service resumes after brief ineffective pause

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Train service resumes after brief ineffective pause

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18 May 2015

1.5Grapefruits

Here is the likely culprit in the train rollover that has now taken eight lives.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- Amtrak service between here and New York resumed on Monday morning for the first time since last week's deadly derailment.

Amtrak president Joseph Boardman said the resumption is in total compliance with the federal rulebook and Amtrak staff had been "working around the clock" to resume service they had worked around the clock to suspend. Mr. Boardman did not explain why the Acela "Panhandler" rolled on its side on Tuesday night — though it might have had something to do with taking a 50 mph curve at 106. Amtrak is studying several ways to prevent a recurrence, or at least to have TV cameras on everyone so that there is even more to study after the next wreck, though nothing happened by the time service resumed.

The engineer on the Panhandler reported a convenient bout of amnesia coinciding with the wreck. He is also gay, left-handed, and has autism, so he would seem to be beyond suspicion despite accelerating into the curve and then slamming on the emergency brake.

But other theories abound. Democrats in Congress say the crash was a direct result of the budget just passed by the House, which would have cut spending for Amtrak, gays, left-handers, and autists starting next October. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she would not be surprised if the bolts holding the rails down had given way in a mass protest. Journalists, meanwhile, have been gathering anecdotes of objects being thrown at trains. The train that crashed had a grapefruit-sized fracture in its windshield, which suggests that someone threw a grapefruit at the train — though another possibility is that the train jumped the tracks and rolled over.

Amtrak board member deceased Admiral Elmo Zumwalt told Fox News on Sunday that people often throw things at Amtrak trains without making them jump the tracks and roll over. Amtrak investigators have been throwing grapefruits at trains all week to see what happens.

Regulators on Saturday ordered Amtrak to study other curves in the Northeast Corridor to see if "more can be done," such as posting signs like the one the engineer blew past. A more aggressive approach would enable a security officer not on the train to take control of the train. This would prevent a mishap in the case that the engineer is a murderer and the security officer is not. Passengers with annual Derailpasses were welcomed back aboard, even though no one knows what happened or why, and nothing (apart from a promise to conduct more studies) has been done. Adm. Zumwalt said that this week's service will therefore be normal and predictable, just like service last week would have been, if there had been any.

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