Acela train stuck in Queens for 5 hours

Old Nov 26, 18, 7:34 pm
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Acela train stuck in Queens for 5 hours

https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...=.37769aed2847

This was a train going to Boston on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I haven't been on the NYP-BOS route in years, but since it is overhead wires, why couldn't the passengers be let off the train, walk down the tracks/siding to a siding or stairs to street level? I am assuming this was stuck on a elevated or grade-level track, and not underground.
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Old Nov 28, 18, 3:56 am
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Liability. Acela trains are high level boarding only. The floor of the doorway is 4 feet up from the top of the rail, and since the ballast slopes away from the track, that's at least another foot. So, would they want passengers to jump down a 5 foot drop onto rocks and potentially hurt themselves and sue? Probably not.
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Old Nov 28, 18, 10:46 am
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Amtrak Attendant reportedly made a porta-potty out of a cardboard box

From Trains magazine's coverage of the incident:

Passengers on an Amtrak Acela Express stalled north of Penn Station for about five hours on Sunday dealt with a rather rustic solution, according to a report on Boston’s WBZ-TV: a cardboard box became a makeshift toilet. (Please note: that’s makeshift.)

Passenger Nick Yeh told the station that an hour into the delay on Boston-bound train No. 2230, the crew opened doors on one side of the train “to help circulate air because it was starting to get warm and stuffy. Because we were out of power, the toilets were unflushable for the entire five hours we were waiting.”

Another passenger, Beth Jacobsen, explained the solution, which involved some out-of-the-box thinking (although hopefully not activity of a similar nature). “What the stewardesses ended up doing was making a porta-potty out of a cardboard box,” Jacobsen said.
Link: Trains magazine - With no power, Amtrak passengers find they're boxed in for toilet use (November 27, 2018)
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Old Nov 28, 18, 11:37 am
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This trip would have been my nightmare.

Two weeks ago I was on a BOS-NYP Acela and due to a transformer explosion, no power on the MNR CT lines. We pulled into New Haven and after an hour of idling, the train was eventually cancelled. Was fortunate enough to realize the issue and leave after 15 minutes and hopped on a MNR train that was unaffected by the power issue. Sucks they couldn't be close enough to be able to leave and find an alternate route back to Boston
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Old Dec 1, 18, 8:21 am
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
Liability. Acela trains are high level boarding only. The floor of the doorway is 4 feet up from the top of the rail, and since the ballast slopes away from the track, that's at least another foot. So, would they want passengers to jump down a 5 foot drop onto rocks and potentially hurt themselves and sue? Probably not.
Thanks for pointing that out -- I forgot that Acela does not have the drop-down stairs in addition to level boarding. But, if there's an emergency and people need to jump off the train, they will have to jump the 5 foot drop anyway?

The Trains Magazine article in another post is interesting -- the design of Acela evidently makes it difficult to bring in a second locomotive (whether electric or diesel) to haul away the train to a nearby station or siding.
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Old Dec 1, 18, 8:28 am
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
Liability. Acela trains are high level boarding only. The floor of the doorway is 4 feet up from the top of the rail, and since the ballast slopes away from the track, that's at least another foot. So, would they want passengers to jump down a 5 foot drop onto rocks and potentially hurt themselves and sue? Probably not.
Each Acela trainset has steps that can placed outside the high level doors to allow passengers to safely climb down to the ground.

Last edited by NovaEngr; Dec 1, 18 at 8:47 am
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