Last train cars being removed from 69th St. Market-Frankford crash

- Crews at the 69th Street Transportation Center are making big progress removing the 18 train cars impacted by Tuesday morning’s crash off the tracks.

FOX 29's Steve Keeley reported at 8am Wednesday, an orange diesel locomotive was getting ready to pull the last three of them away, and the tracks appear intact.

The cleanup has been going on constantly for almost 24 hours, since an out-of-service train rear-ended a stopped train in the railyard. That caused some cars to jump the track and hit a third train, officials said.

Four people were injured, including an operator hospitalized in critical condition.

Workers have been removing the cars, cutting them apart and lifting them away to the shop.

At the same time, three National Transportation Safety Administration officials have been investigating the cause.

There had been signal issues, early Tuesday. Signal issues also involved Regional Rail trains, Tuesday afternoon.

According to SEPTA, “At the start of rush hour, there were 22 train sets available for the service day” on Tuesday. By 8:30am, that number was reduced to 19 and shuttle buses carried passengers between 63rd and 69th streets for a portion of the day. The evening rush ran with 19 trains, but no need for shuttle bus service.

SEPTA expected to be using 21 train sets and using Market-Frankford Line A and B express service Wednesday, a day after the accident.

The crash happened on the loop at the western end of the Market-Frankford Line. Trains dropping off their last passengers and finishing their routes go around the loop, to either the rail yard or back into service.

There had been concerns about slowdowns without the loop able to be used.

According to SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch, one train was waiting to head back to Center City when it was hit from behind. The derailed cars hit another train, which also was waiting to go back in service.

The train that was rear-ended had passengers on board, and Busch said it's not clear why, since it wasn't in service. 
 
Two passengers were among the injured, and Busch didn't have details on them, except to say they have been described as non-life threatening.
 
Service was restored on the Market-Frankford line later Tuesday afternoon, ahead of the evening rush, Busch said.
 
The crash is the latest ordeal for the Market-Frankford line, which runs as a subway downtown and is elevated in west and northeast Philadelphia. Earlier this month, SEPTA took dozens of cars out of service after a crack was found on a main load-carrying beam on a car on the line.
 
The reduced fleet had caused some disruptions but the agency was approaching full service on the line.
 
"Over the past decade, SEPTA has invested in significant upgrades and improvements to the infrastructure of the Market-Frankford Line including the installation of a modern Automatic Train Control System," according to SEPTA's website.
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