Dozens of SEPTA passengers and the conductor were injured last night when a Norristown High Speed Line train crashed into a parked train car at 69th Street Station in Upper Darby after midnight. Four were reportedly critically injured but SEPTA said none of the injuries appeared life threatening. The injured were taken to eight area hospitals following mobilization for a mass casualty incident.
SEPTA is investigating the cause of the accident. According to one report published by CBS Philly, the train conductor overshot the train platform at both Gulph Mills and Bryn Mawr prior to hitting the train at 69th Street as passengers were preparing to depart. The conductor was among the injured and was taken to the hospital, according to Upper Darby Mayor Thomas Micozzie. Philadelphia Inquirer reported this morning that the conductor was released from the hospital.
A SEPTA spokeswoman told NBC 10 that the Norristown High Speed Line is equipped with Automatic Train Control. ATC provides a train operator with an in-cab warning if they violate the speed limit and takes over within a few seconds if they fail to slow the train. Positive Train Control, a more advanced version of the technology that was installed on Amtrak lines following the 2015 Philadelphia derailment, was not in use.
69th Street Terminal hasn’t had a great safety record this year. This train station was also the location of a crash in the rail yard in February where two out-of-service Market-Frankford line train collided after dropping off passengers at the station. One of the trains derailed in that accident and four were injured.
If you or a family member were injured on the train, please call 1-800-590-4116 for a free consultation with Jim McEldrew or another McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt railroad attorney.