U.S. Rep. Bob Brady: Shut Down the Norristown High Speed Line Until Cause of Crash Determined

It was just after midnight Tuesday when Norristown High Speed Line train 155 slammed into a parked train at the 69th Street Transportation Center

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady wants SEPTA to "shut down" the Norristown High Speed Line until officials determine what led to Tuesday's train crash in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

Brady, the nine-term Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania's 1st District, said Thursday that the transit authority should "shuttle bus" the line, which snakes through Delaware and Montgomery counties.

"What happens if tomorrow or God forbid...tonight it happens again," he asked.

It was just after midnight Tuesday when Norristown High Speed Line train 155 slammed into a parked train at the 69th Street Transportation Center. The impact sent passengers flying into walls, doors and windows.

Thirty-three people were hurt with four being admitted to the hospital in critical condition.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, but officials have not yet indicated what may have led to the crash. Passengers who spoke to NBC10 said train failed to properly stop at two stations prior to the crash and appeared to be speeding into 69th Street.

SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch said the transit agency typically waits until an investigation yields some results or raises concerns before taking action.


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Mechanics inspected the high speed line's fleet — 26 cars — after the incident. Busch said no issues were found.

The speed limit approaching the 69th Street terminal was lowered from 55 mph to 30 mph, Busch said. The speed limit at the station was also lowered from 30 mph to 15 mph.

Brady expressed frustration with a lack of information from the investigation saying "it don't take that long" to determine a cause of the crash.

"I understand there's 26 cars and you gotta look at every one of them, but look at the one that didn't stop. Tell us why that one didn't stop," Brady said.

Brady has sent a letter to the National Transportation Safety Board demanding an expedited investigation.

The Norristown High Speed Line is an above-ground rapid rail line that makes 22 stops between 69th Street in Delaware County and the Norristown Transportation Center in Montgomery County.

An average of 11,000 passengers travel on the line a day, according to SEPTA.

The congressman's comments come after Upper Darby Mayor Thomas Micozzie said he planned to ask for Brady's help in improving rail safety at the transportation center.

There have been two train incidents there this year. In February, several unoccupied Market-Frankford El cars derailed on a rail loop. While no passengers were onboard, four employees were injured.

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