Yesterday I was on my way to New York for a couple of meetings in Manhattan. I bought tickets for the 5:02 AM regional train from Union Station here in Washington, D.C. to New York Penn Station. I arrived at Union Station around 4:40 AM and we boarded the train. About 5:15 AM we were just outside of New Carrollton (still within the D.C. metro area) when the train came to a stop. We sat there for about 30 minutes before the conductor announced that there was a medical emergency and we were waiting for the situation to be resolved.

Medical emergency? I thought about someone having a heart attack or something. Turns out the 5:00 AM Acela in front of our train struck an Amtrak employee around 5:08 AM. This brought all rail traffic in the Washington, D.C. – Baltimore corridor to a halt. There aren’t that many details on this other than what the news media is reporting. It took about 2 hours for the train to start moving again and stop at New Carrollton. Unfortunately I knew I wasn’t going to make it to New York by my 10 AM meeting so I got off the Amtrak train, took the Metro back to the Capitol South station, walked over to Union Station, got a refund on my tickets and drove home. With a little bit of scrambling about I managed to get all the meeting participants to meet in LiveMeeting (gotta love that service!) and we had our conference call that way. Ain’t technology grand!

Unfortunately the Amtrak worker who was struck yesterday died later in the day.