270. A signal imperfectly displayed, or the absence of a signal at a place where a signal is normally displayed, must be regarded as the most restrictive indication that can be given by that signal.In practice, that includes recognizing a signal and alignment of switches sending a train the wrong way, and stopping the train.
Amtrak Train 644 that left 30th Street Station for New York City accidentally ended up on the SEPTA tracks. The train actually traveled several miles before the mistake was finally caught and the train stopped at the Bala Cynwyd station.With North American speed signalling, it is possible that an Advance Approach and a Diverging Clear might cross a train either to the Pittsburgh Subway or to the outer track of the New York Division (a routing that seems likely as 644 makes a Trenton stop and is overtaken by an Acela somewhere in New Jersey.) It is difficult, though, for an engineer running a day train to recognize that he's being routed back toward Harrisburg, rather than toward Trenton.
It happened last Thursday and according to Amtrak, the 130 passengers on-board may have been inconvenienced but everyone was safely brought back to Philly, put on a different train and taken to New York, this second time around, without incident.That the passengers had to be put on a different train says something about the thinness of the Extra Board these days.
Jennifer Wallace of Tampa, FL said, “Definitely they need to investigate. I don’t think anybody should get fired but maybe disciplinary, definitely but they should look into it so it doesn’t happen again, be more cautious than anything.”
Steve Kulm, Amtrak’s Media Relations Director released a statement which read in part: “An investigation was launched and the crew has been held out of work until they can be fully debriefed and additional training can be conducted.”