Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Transportation Home  |  Discussions  |  Traffic  |  Columns  |  Q&A     |      Twitter |    Facebook   |  phone Alerts

German train reaches 122 degrees

And riders on the infamous overheated MARC trains thought they had it rough.

Even as MARC trains continue to be plagued by delays stemming from overheated equipment and the overheated customers that can result when a train breaks down--MARC created a Web page titled MARC Train 538 Incident Response, and Amtrak announced today it would distribute bottled watter at Union Station on hot days--other railroads are undergoing similar woes. German authorities are looking into whether Deutsche Bahn "negligently caused bodily harm" by continuing a train's journey after its air conditioning broke, the German publication The Local reported this week, in what was perceived as part of a "systemic breakdown."

People laid down in the aisles, and one woman smashed a window as temperatures hit 122 degrees in the train. Nine were hospitalized. "Deutsche Bahn has been penny-pinching in the wrong places," an observer said.

The failures of legacy systems founded on 18th-century technology come at an interesting time. Leaders have begun to invest in bringing sleek, modern, high-speed rail to this side of the Atlantic, after this country has for years lagged behind Europe and Asia in that respect. Stimulus dollars have flowed to rail systems, and some government officials have made it a priority, as the older systems show their age, and in many cases have seen their funding shrivel.

What do you think: Do the operators of old-fashioned railroads need to be sanctioned, or better-funded? Do we fix existing passenger-rail before trying our hand at high-speed, or go full-steam ahead on a new system of tracks, leaving the old rails to freight?

By Luke Rosiak  | July 15, 2010; 1:17 PM ET
Categories:  Amtrak, MARC  | Tags:  High-speed rail  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Power back on at Reagan National
Next: Suspicious package at 13th & G NW

Comments

The German passengers were screaming, "MARC schnel! MARC schnel!"

Posted by: CubsFan | July 15, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I think we need to both invest in new systems and maintain/support the old while we get the new stuff in place. It's just like we still need US 1 in addition to I-95. The new systems may need to divert to some different places such as linking airports as transportation hubs. Make air travel the mode for more than 500 or 700 miles and use HSR for many of the trips in between.

Posted by: blankspace | July 15, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Germany has rather conspicuously advanced its high-speed rail to the detriment of its older, short-line systems. (Those two go together, since high-speed rail makes sense only over longer distances.) France and Italy, however have sought to modernize their short-line and regional systems along with developing a high-speed network. Italy in particular tends to keep it s older trains in service and in repair. Britain, lagging behind in high-speed, up until a few years ago had miserable short-line trains, but in recent years has almost replaced every train in their system (which is contracted out privately). So in my experience, at least, the Europeans tend to both advance the new and maintain the old - for the most part.

Posted by: 303030 | July 15, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Germany has rather conspicuously advanced its high-speed rail to the detriment of its older, short-line systems. (Those two go together, since high-speed rail makes sense only over longer distances.) France and Italy, however have sought to modernize their short-line and regional systems along with developing a high-speed network. Italy in particular tends to keep it s older trains in service and in repair. Britain, lagging behind in high-speed, up until a few years ago had miserable short-line trains, but in recent years has almost replaced every train in their system (which is contracted out privately). So in my experience, at least, the Europeans tend to both advance the new and maintain the old - for the most part.

Posted by: 303030 | July 15, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The USA's approach to domestic infrastructure since the mid-20th century has been like that of sickly a man who figures, I'll see a doctor once I have that massive heart attack.

Whatever, as ling as we keep starting interminable wars against non-enemies for no reason, and eliminating taxes on the only people rich enough to pay them, everything will turn out fine.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 16, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company