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January 15, 2010

Amtrak train kills man near Aberdeen

An Amtrak Acela train struck and killed a man near Aberdeen about 2 p.m., according to the Maryland Transit Administration, disrupting traffic on the Northeast Corridor and MARC Penn Line.

The 2:50 p.m. Penn Line train leaving Perryville for Washington has been delayed indefinitely. Two northbound Penn Line trains -- those scheduled to leave Union Station at 4:46 p.m. and 5:10 p.m. have been canceled. MARC was hoping to get riders heading for stations north of Baltimore on a later train once the tracks reopen.

Few details about the  incident were available as of 4:10 p.m. The fatality would be the second involving an Amtrak train in Maryland in as many weeks. Last week, 14-year-old Anna Marie Stickel was  killed when she was struck by a Northeast Regional train while walking along the tracks in Middle River.



Here are the latest MARC woes, reported by the MTA at 6:06 p.m.


Penn: MARC 441 (625p BAL Dp) has been cancelled.

Penn: MARC 530 (424p WAS Dp) is operating 45 mins late approaching Martins Airport.

Penn: MARC 534 (520p WAS Dp) is operating approx 15-20 mins late in the BWI area.

Penn: MARC 436 is operating approx 15 mins late approaching Odenton.

Penn: MARC 439 is operating approx 10 mins late approaching Seabrook.

Due to signal problems between New Carrollton and Washington, MARC northbound trains are expected to operate 15 - 20 minute late.

Due to signal problems between New Carrollton and Washington, MARC southbound trains are expected to operate 15 - 20 minute late arriving in Washington.


Posted by Michael Dresser at 3:40 PM | | Comments (4)


So for all of the people screaming for an "Aberdeen-style" crossover where the teenager was killed -

Now what? You can put them there, but you can't make people use them.

Last week I was the first car stopped at the Aberdeen crossover waiting for the train-could see in distance to my right. To my left were about 8 older teens playing chicken on the tracks with the oncoming train.
It was unbelievably scary to watch.
I felt really bad for the train conducter. He was blowing the horn , and the kids just kept playing on the tracks.
What will it take to keep kids off the tracks-maybe more vigilant attention paid to them by their parents??

Let's stop blaming the victim.
Have you ever been next to an Acela train as it passes through a station? Suffice it to say it moves at a deadly speed.

There needs to be an effective fence or other obstacle placed along the entire length of the Penn Line. Anyone can walk or drive right up onto the tracks along Rt 40 in Harford and Baltimore Counties.
That would be impossible if the train track were instead an airport runway.
Why is there so little to protect against a terrorist attack on the train and/or tracks?
Not to mention something that would also prevent children and others from having such easy access to the tracks.

I suggest you go to the Aberdeen station and see just how dangerous these high speed trains can be.

I agree with the previous poster. I personally don't know what the answer to this problem is. Parents should pay more attention to their kids and what they are doing. But, in the same respect, when the kids are out of sight from their parents, they are going to do everything they shouldn't do, especially if peer pressure is involved. Would a patrol of the tracks work? Designating patrol officers to travel the rails up and down to make sure that no one is playing on the tracks. Using cars that are made for this purpose, and having patrols on the tracks may be an answer.

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About Michael Dresser
Michael Dresser has been an editor, reporter and columnist with The Sun longer than Baltimore's had a subway. He's covered retailing, telecommunications, state politics and wine. Since 2004, he's been The Sun's transportation writer. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife and travel companion, Cindy.

His Getting There column appears on Mondays. Mike's blog will be a forum for all who are interested in highways, transit and other transportation issues affecting Baltimore, Maryland and the region.

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