PlanPhilly

Criminal charges reinstated for Amtrak engineer indicted in deadly Philly train crash

Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian has been ordered to stand trial on involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment charges for the deadly 2015 derailment in Philadelphia, the AP reports. Judge Kathryn S. Lewis reinstated the criminal charges, ruling that the earlier judge who dismissed the charges last year had “erred and that there was sufficient evidence to send the case to trial.” Bostian is free on bail but must surrender his passport. For a refresher on the accident and subsequent investigation, check out Jim Saksa’s coverage on the National Transportation Safety Board’s findings. Get a full recap of coverage on the accident here

In more Amtrak news around Philadelphia, a high-speed Acela train bound for New York broke apart as it went through Maryland Tuesday morning, the New York Post reports. The train was going approximated 125 mph; photos show that the connector between two coupled trains broken and separated, with only the air hoses connecting the two cars. Amtrak officials say there are no reported injuries and that they are investigating the incident. The Post reports that a “rescue train pulled up next to the crippled Acela and took the passengers to Philadelphia,” where they stayed because they wanted to see a Super Bowl city. Just kidding, the passengers “then got other trains to continue on to New York City.”

Remember when startup Tern Water did a water sample campaign in Philadelphia and found 90 percent of samples contained some level of risky contaminants? The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has something to say about those findings. Representatives from PWD tell Technical.ly Philly’s Roberto Torres exactly why those results didn’t jive with the city agency: “First off, they’re not an accredited lab.” PWD also points out that the “contaminants Tern Water reports having spotted on its mail-in sampling offering don’t match up with PWD’s latest annual report on water quality.” Finally, a PWD Bureau of Laboratory Services spokesperson raised a concern the accuracy of the results as samples were not refrigerated in shipping process. Tern Water founder responded to the response, writing in a statement that all tests “are done with lab certified equipment, and fully trained engineers,” and that the “current business plan has [Tern Water] on schedule to have a fully accredited laboratory by the end of this year.”


Question: Will bikes be allowed on PATCO, Regional Rail, or the subway on Thursday?

Answer: No.

Luckily, the Broad Street subway and Market-Frankford El will be free all day. Jim Saksa breaks down how to navigate transit parade day.


Rail Park update: An unanticipated delay will push back the opening of the Rail Park from February to Spring 2018, the Center City District shared in a press release. Due to rust and corrosion of structural beams uncovered during the renovation process, the Streets Department concluded “that for safety and ongoing maintenance reasons the 130-year-old railroad bridge needs to be replaced.” CCD released bid documents Friday for the complete replacement of the pedestrian bridge over 13th Street with the new steel support beams. The existing steel girders will be removed, restored, and “will be repurposed to frame walkways and to create large planters for trees and shrubs so that the finished product will look substantially similar to what was originally designed.” CCD will share a final project schedule once a contractor is selected in late February.

About the author

Diana Lu, Community Engagement Editor

Diana runs PlanPhilly’s community outreach and engagement online and in real life. She has spent more than ten years in the non-profit and public sectors working on urban development issues including environmental justice, design-based manufacturing, and community and economic development.  Prior to joining PlanPhilly, Diana worked as the Director of Partnerships and Outreach for 10,000 Small Businesses, a public-private initiative focused strengthening local businesses through revenue generation and local job creation.  Follow Diana on instagram @dianaluwho and email her at dlu@whyy.org.



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