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February 10, 2011

Amtrak, MARC traffic resumes after pedestrian strike

MARC and Amtrak trains have resumed operations through the Halethorpe area after being held up when an Acela train struck a pedestrian on the tracks near there late this morning.

Danelle Hunter, an Amtrak spokeswoman, said the person -- whom she described as a "trespasser" -- was hit about 11:27 a.m.

Baltimore County Fire Department spokeswoman Elise Armacost said call came in at 11:41 a.m. and the victim was taken by ground to Shock-Trauma. No word on age or gender. Hunter said that to the best of her knowledge the victim was still alive. She said there was no indication yet whether the strike was an accident or a suicide attempt.

Hunter said the Washington-to-New York Acela train, with 121 passengers aboard, was being held at the scene as of about 12:45 p.m. But she said the tracks have been reopened to other traffic.

Maryland Transit  Administration spokesman Terry Owens said two MARC Penn Line trains were delayed by the incident, but he said MARC traffic resumed service through the area at restricted speeds shortly after noon.



Posted by Michael Dresser at 12:16 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Amtrak/intercity railroads, MARC train


The Halethorpe MARC station is a nightmare. Crossing the tracks requires climbing 4 flights of stairs to a dangerous and narrow vehicular traffic bridge, then down another 4 flights of stairs on the other side. Since it is not a raised platform (the same level as the track), all too often people opt to not climb the stairs but walk across the track directly. Since there's a fence between the tracks (a good 50 meters long), these trespassers have to walk around the fence - extending their foolish exposure to train traffic. The Halethorpe station is very busy and very heavily used. It is in dire need of improvement. Expect to see more accidents just like this one.

Just think. I George Bush had not gotten us involved in a two phony wars that have cost us hundreds of billions, if the Republicans had not lost trillions in tax revenues by lowering taxes on the uber rich we could have rebuilt the entire American train system. Out infrastructure system is not a joke compared to Europe

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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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