again better crew training something lacking at most railroads, they introduce a 4 million $$ locomotive but give engineers the $0.50 tour.
It that same engineer who should be able to tell where problem lays and if its fixable, or needs towing.
here is todays reallity check on the ordeal, (yes I copied entire passenger editorial) just to show there could be another side to story.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 04789.html
A breakdown of decency on MARC Train 538
By Anna Piranian
Sunday, July 4, 2010 ???????
Anytime a critical part of our transportation system fails, commuters whose lives have been disrupted look for someone to blame. The June 21 breakdown of MARC Train 538, since dubbed "The Hell Train," is no different, particularly since two people were taken to the hospital. Even so, many of the 900 or so passengers who were stranded for two sweltering hours would do well to engage in some introspection into their own behavior when these incidents arise. I was on Train 538 that day, and what I witnessed was a disgrace.
To explain, after the train broke down south of New Carrollton, the conductors immediately made announcements telling us what they knew. In the two hours that ensued before a rescue train arrived, the mid-90-degree temperatures outside quickly escalated within the train to well over 100, making it feel like a sauna. Vestibule doors were opened to allow circulation, but that provided only minimal relief. Later, windows were removed. From what I saw, the conductors, and an Amtrak officer who was helping them, did everything in their power to deal with an unfortunate situation, and they did so with decorum -- despite being heckled by disgruntled passengers who expected much more of them than was humanly possible.
It was only after passengers were allowed to disembark the train and some fainted that things started to unravel. And with that, the flow of information stopped. But how could it not, given the circumstances? The conductors were busy assisting those in distress, as they should have been, until emergency responders could reach the scene. Absent a megaphone, how would their voices have been heard among the hundreds of passengers scattered throughout the ravine? It was a situation fraught with difficulty.
In all the news accounts of this incident, I have not heard anything describing how this emergency brought out the worst in people. To my horror, I saw people whipping out cellphones to photograph and videotape those experiencing medical crises, rather than attempting to provide aid. To make matters worse, when the rescue train at last arrived, the boarding degenerated into an "every man for himself" ordeal, with men pushing aboard the train and snatching up seats, while women were left to stand in the aisles.
Fifteen minutes after I was fortunate enough to squeeze into an aisle, I noticed a woman with a young child, clearly younger than 2, still standing on the side of the tracks. People gawked through the windows and commented on the woman being stranded, but no one offered up his or her spot. When I tried to exit the packed aisle to give her mine, it became clear that the next person in the frenzied crowd would take my place long before the woman could get anywhere near it.
The image of this woman and small child being left behind, not to mention all the others helplessly stranded, haunted me for the rest of the evening, as did the lack of compassion and basic decency displayed by my fellow passengers. I was reminded of the movie "Titanic." Clearly, for many, "Titanic" was merely a movie that won an Oscar rather than an actual event in history we all would do well to learn from -- women and children do not get left behind, and we need to help one another in times of emergency.
There are other lessons we can learn from this, too. If I were to offer any criticism of the MARC conductors, it would only be to note that someone should have looked out for that mother and child by appealing for a compassionate volunteer to give up his or her seat. And my criticism of MARC and Amtrak would be that a "rescue" train should never be so small that it can't contain the very people it is coming to aid. Clearly, leaving several hundred commuters behind in a ravine on the side of the tracks in mid-90-degree heat is not an acceptable solution to the problem.