Amtrak trains began rolling along the busy Northeast Corridor early today, the first time since the deadly crash in Philadelphia, and officials vowed to have safer trains and tracks even as investigators work to determine the cause of the derailment. Amtrak resumed service with a 5:30am southbound train leaving New York City. The first northbound train, scheduled to leave Philadelphia at 5:53am, was delayed and pulled out of the 30th Street Station at 6:07am. Both trains arrived at their destinations about 30 minutes behind schedule. All Acela Express, Northeast Regional, and other services also resumed. Amtrak officials said yesterday that trains along the Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston would return to service in "complete compliance" with federal safety orders.
About three dozen passengers boarded the New York-bound train in Philadelphia, and Mayor Michael Nutter stood on the platform, greeting passengers and crew. "It's great to be back," said one Philly passenger. "I've been traveling [with Amtrak] for over 10 years. ... Something invariably is going to happen somewhere along the lines. I'm not worried about it." Amtrak President Joseph Boardman said staff and crew worked around the clock to restore service. He said yesterday that Amtrak would be offering a "safer service," while an Amtrak rep said it was important to restore service, calling the Northeast Corridor "an economic engine here on the East Coast." Almost 20 people injured in the crash remain in hospitals, five in critical condition. All are expected to survive.