01 September, 2008


August 31, 2008

Trespasser Tries to Zap Amtrak Back with Lawsuit

An Astoria man is suing Amtrak because they "should have known that people trespassed" in the area of a Boston station where he was severely electrocuted two years ago. After a night of drinking in July 2006, 25-year-old Brian Hopkins went down to Boston's South Station at 2 a.m. after telling friends that he "wanted to get back to New York." There he tried to force his way inside an Acela and climbed on top of a parked train car when he was jolted by 27,500 volts from arcing overhead wires. He suffered third-degree burns over 85 percent of his body, and doctors have since amputated his left hand and leg. In the suit, his family claims that Amtrak should have taken more precautions to keep trespassers out of the potentially dangerous area.
BLOGGER NOTE: Jacksonville Streetcars or LRT would likely use
either 1,200 volt AC which is newer and has less moving parts (but is more
costly) or the standard 600 volt DC which lasts an eternity but will still turn
a human into a french fry in a flash. As I recall when the Kennedy Funeral Train made it's way along the electrified railroads of the Northeast, several persons were killed or seriously injured climbing on top of standing train cars to get a better view.
Fact is, the view is great from HEAVEN! Railroads, Streetcars or LRT are NOT PLAYGOUNDS.

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The arguments rage to this date, "Should have never been built," "waste of taxpayer money," "Doesn't go anywhere," "Nobody rides it..." etc. Bottom line is we have it, and it is finally showing signs of life. Simple extensions to the Stadium, San Marco, and the area of Blue Cross in North Riverside would turn this little train around. Addition of Park and Ride garages and multimodal transit terminals at the end points would bring on the crowds. The video must have been shot on a Sunday Morning, as downtown is certainly as packed with life as any other major City on weekdays. Jacksonville is a city of Bikes, joggers, walkers, buses and cars, one almost wonders how the photographer managed to find this quiet moment.

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