Amtrak Acela Cars Separate in Harford County While Moving at 125 MPH

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An Acela train in Washington D.C. Photo by Milkyoreo, via Wikimedia Commons.

A bad week got worse for Amtrak this morning, when an Acela Express train had to stop and unload 52 passengers this morning near Havre de Grace after two train cars separated while traveling at 125 mph.

The Acela 2150 train was heading to Boston when it “experienced a mechanical issue” that caused the two train cars to separate, Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams confirmed in an email. The train was carrying 52 passengers. No one was reported injured.

Another train, the Northeast Regional 180, stopped alongside the stopped train and picked them up.

“We are currently investigating the cause of the car separation, inspecting every Acela trainset, and taking any necessary actions to prevent a reoccurrence,” Abrams said.

The New York Post first reported the incident. A source sent the newspaper and D.C.-area TV station ABC7 a photo showing the gap between the cars as the train was moving.

The 2150 runs from D.C. to Boston on weekdays, leaving Union Station at 5 a.m. and stopping at Penn Station around 5:30 a.m.

The incident adds to a growing list of recent blunders for the rail company. On Sunday, two workers in South Carolina were killed when an Amtrak train hit a freight train. Four days earlier, a train transporting dozens of Republican members of Congress hit a garbage truck in Charlottesville, killing the truck driver.

Ethan McLeod
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