Tag Archives: Brandon Bostian

Brandon Bostian, Engineer In 2015 Deadly Philadelphia Amtrak 188 Derailment, Charged.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access “The New York Times” article. Google ‘Bostian’ for more.


The Amtrak 188 train derailment outside of Philadelphia on May 12, 2015 had an impact on us — directly.

We had tickets to go to Philadelphia on May 14, 2015 — 2 days later — to pick up my Jaguar XJ8.

Amtrak cancelled service around Philadelphia for a week!

Ended up having to go to New York by Amtrak and then taking a Greyhound to Philadelphia. That actually turned out to be quite a fun trip.

But, Amtrak 188 and Brandon Bostian became etched into my life.

I had been wondering what would happen to him.

Read the story. Quite interesting. The ‘authorities’ were NOT going to press charges — willing to concede that it was an unfortunate accident. However, families of those affected had the option to insist. Neat.


Related posts:
++++ Search ‘Bostian for other posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge

The NEW Greyhound Website Has Major Issues — Healthcare.gov Redux.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
. .
.
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Amtrak baggage check at Penn Station.

++++ Search ‘Philadelphia & ‘Jaguar’ for other posts >>>>


greyhoundnew1212

Click at YOUR peril. Best call 1-800-268-9000 though they have issues too.


greyhounderror


Until May of this year, when we had to get to Philadelphia to pick up our Jaguar XJ8, and Amtrak had had its Amtrak 188 Brandon Bostian crash, I had never been a great believer in buses as a means of long distance transport. Yes, we had taken an airport bus to Boston a few times but we really considered that a shuttle rather than anything else.

But the trip in May, when we used two bus services, one from Dover, NH to South Station in Boston (C&J), and then Greyhound from New York to Philadelphia, made a believer out of me. I am now convinced that Greyhound is THE BEST way to get from New York to Philadelphia. It takes exactly 2 hours (barring mishaps). That is about 30 to 40 minutes longer than by train. But it is less than half the price. $44 vs (say) $16 for 30 to 40 minutes — given that you have to hang around stations anyway.

Well I was trying to make a reservation on Sunday. The NEW system kept on giving me the above ERROR message or crashing. WOW. How could Greyhound have gone live with that? That is STUPID. I had no choice but to call the 1-800 268 9000 number. She was helpful enough. She admitted that the new system was NOT working. But here is the crazy part and I was NOT amused. Her system crashed TWICE while she was doing my reservation and she initially quoted me a price that was 50% higher than what it proved to be — because that was what the system told her.

Not good. If Greyhound can’t process reservations they will run into trouble quite quickly.

In my days as a BIG system consultant this was our golden definition of what a MISSION CRITICAL system was — any major airline would go belly up if there reservation system was down for 72 hours. I can’t see that that has changed much over the years and as such Greyhound is flirting with disaster.


The Best Kept Secret In New York City — Amtrak Baggage Check At Penn Station.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
. .
.
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Wyndham Hotel
, Philadelphia Historic District.
>>
Philadelphia ‘Zooballoon’.
>>
Running up “Rocky Steps”.
>>
Orangutan at Philadelphia zoo.
>> 
Got Jaguar in Philadelphia.

>> Anthony Melchiorri responds.
>>
‘Woodstock Lodge’ on ‘Hotel Impossible’. … …

++++ Search ‘Philadelphia & ‘Jaguar’ for other posts >>>>


Temporarily storing some of your luggage while you sightsee in New York City can be a bigger problem than you would typically expect. It all has to do with heightened security. Luggage lockers in New York City are basically a thing of the past.

Yes, of course, if you have a hotel reservation it is not a problem. You can check in the luggage at the hotel — even if it means going out of the way to first get to the hotel.

Penn_Station_concourse

Main floor on Penn Station.

Well we had a different problem when we went to NYC, on our way to Philadelphia in May, to pick up the Jaguar XJ8 from “Car Cheer“. Thanks to the antics of Brandon ‘bloody’ Bostian we could go all the way to Philly by Amtrak. We could only get as far as NYC — and then take a Greyhound. Well the kids wanted to do a bit of exploring in NYC, since it was 4 years since we were last there, so I got the Greyhound tickets to give us 6 hours in NYC. We didn’t have much luggage BUT we did have one big bag for the three of us. I did not fancy lugging that around New York, in the hot humidity of a May day. Deanna was sure that there were lockers. I knew better.

Trying to get or find a definite answer as to whether Amtrak provided a baggage check at Penn Station was HARD. It appears that it is security again. People just don’t want to talk about it. YES, I found one commercial service, outside of Penn and not that far from the Port Authority (from which Greyhound departs) which did what I wanted for $10+ an item. Bit its biggest drawback was that it really was neither HERE-or-THERE; i.e., it wasn’t at Penn or at the Port Authority. I persevered. I was sure that Amtrak MUST offer some kind of baggage check. Then I was told that it was ONLY for outbound passengers — and I did NOT have a outbound ticket. I was coming as far as Penn with Amtrak and then doing the rest by road.

Well here is the good news. Amtrak has a very competent, affordable (I think $6.25 a piece) baggage check on the ‘Main Floor’ of Penn Station. You can use it both INBOUND and outbound. All you need is a valid Amtrak ticket for THAT day. They staple your baggage tickets to THAT ticket. That is there security measure. Worked great. I gather that it can get busy and they suggest you get there with 30 minutes to spare. On the Saturday afternoon we were there it was ’empty’. When we came to pick up our bags there was no line.

It really worked well. We had to ask a few people BEFORE we found it. But it is well SIGNED if you look for the signs.

The folks that worked there agreed that it was NYC best kept secret. That is why I am sharing it with YOU.

So if you are going to New York City by Amtrak do remember that they do have a GOOD baggage check facility.


Reconciling Acceleration Of Philadelphia Amtrak 188, by Brandon Bostian, With Possible Projectile Is Hard To Do.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
.
.
.
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:amtrackday2
>>
Brandon Bostian: political statement?
>> 
Brandon Bostian mental status?
>> Brandon Bostian doing a Germanwings?
>> Philadelphia Amtrak 188: Business Class car.
>> Amtrak handling of crash ….
>> Philadelphia, Omni Hotel Independence Park …

≡≡ Was Germanwings Lubitz on antidepressants?
≡≡ 
Lufthansa to file Bankruptcy to avoid Germanwings liability?

++++ Search on ‘train‘, ‘plane‘, ‘cars‘ & ‘automobile‘ for other related posts >>>>


 Click images to access original coverage.

 

** ** ** ** ** ** 


One could, and lawyers will, argue that Brandon Bostian accelerated, per his ‘flee or flight’ instincts, when he heard, saw or felt a projectile hit the train. And in the end it would be just his word on that.

That he can’t remember anything is so convenient to him and his lawyers.

But is it the normal the thing to do — accelerate a train to THAT EXTENT IF one believes one is under attack?

I, like others, are fairly sure that NO PROJECTILE on its own caused the acceleration.

The acceleration was done by Brandon Bostian — by the use of the accelerator lever. No projectile was involved in that.

So the only argument is whether the prospect of more projectiles is what caused him to accelerate. I am sure his lawyers will milk that to death.

I personally think the projectile or projectiles were a coincidence and now a Red Herring.


We Got Our Jaguar — A Burgundy Red XJ8 (From ‘Dave’ at “European-Cars”, Outside Philadelphia, On eBay)

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
. .
.
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> 2015:
Green 1968 MGB breaks hibernation.
>> MGB: Dec. 30, 2014 in 18°F.
>> ‘The B Hive’
for MGB parts.
>>
MGB gets Steve Barlow treatment.

>>Brit Bits” in Rye, N.H.

++++ Search ‘MGB many other posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.



A Jaguar has been on the cards since last September — once we got the 1968 Green MGB. Our lease on the KIA Sportage was expiring in May/June 2015 and Devanee and I prevailed that we should get a Jag as the replacement. Initially it was going to be a ‘practical’ AWD X-Type. ‘We’, Devanee & I, looked at quite a few, online, over the winter. We were going to get a British Racing Green (BRG) to match the MGB. But, lets face it the X-Type is not a quintessential Jag.

And then a couple of months ago Deanna let it slip that she would quite FANCY a V-8 Jag. The die was cast. We would get a XJ-8 — because now we had at least a partial vote from Deanna.

I started looking. The KIA goes back May 29. Not many GOOD, ‘low-milage’ Jags for sale in New England — especially NOT New Hampshire. Found a few in Maine and Mass. I waited until we got back from Arizona. Then we were in May and it was time to act.

I checked out various online sites including eBay. I ‘really’ wanted an XJR with the turbos. Could have had one shipped from Houston, Texas BUT getting a car shipped, sight unseen, did not appeal.

Started looking at eBay in earnest. There were a few Jags I liked and they were ALL from ‘European-Cars‘ outside Philadelphia. I had spoken with ‘Dave’, the person listed in all the ads. , preliminarily, about shipping options, before we went to Arizona. A few days after we got back from Canyon de Chelly, and with my latest book published, I felt I had the time to get this done once and for all. I kept on coming back to this 2002 Burgundy XJ8, with ’57K’. Showed it and a few others to Devanee and Deanna. Tesichan didn’t really care one way or another. I knew what Devanee would pick. Deanna is also liked the Burgundy.

I called up Dave on May 8, 2015 — the first Friday after Arizona. We agreed on a price. It was more than double Kelley Blue Book but Kelley really doesn’t have a clue as to what low-milage Jags sell for.

Deanna, with her bad back, would not have been happy driving up from Philadelphia. So the plan, all along, was to go down with the two kids, pick up the Jag and drive it back. The kids had never been to Philadelphia and they have, of late, become avid tourists. Then came the the Brandon Bostian Amtrak 188 crash. We were going to go Thursday, after school, and drive back Friday. Well the best laid plans of mice and men.

The kids and I left at 3:15 am on Saturday morning. Coach to Boston South Station. Amtrak to New York City. Times Square. 6pm Greyhound to Philadelphia. Get there just before 8pm. Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District. All day Sunday and Monday morning to explore. Betsy Ross house, Art Museum, Zoo, Balloon ride, Liberty Bell, horse carriage ride, Rodin exhibit, Chinatown for Dinner, Reading Market for Breakfast, a tour of the Mint AMONG other things. Picked up the Jag, from Dave, at 1pm. Drove back 390 miles. Traffic, in places was horrendous. One spectacular van accident. WOW! We stopped. The car was wonderful. Devanne adores it. Teischan likes it. I am very pleased. No buyer’s remorse at all, at all.

“European-Cars” (also known by at least 2 other names, including “Car Cheer”) is OK. Dave is OK.

You can dismiss most, if NOT ALL, the negative reviews you will find online about them.

I will write separate posts on “European-Cars” & Dave. But, trust me, they are OK. I would buy from Dave again — and there is a pretty good chance that this might happen sooner than you think. SMILE. We are still one car short. Devanee and I both feel that we really must have an Jaguar XJS to drive around in the Summer/Fall. SMILE.

Bottom line. We are very pleased with the XJ8 we got from Dave at “European-Cars”.


Expedia: A CONFIRMED Hotel ‘Reservation’ From Expedia Is MEANINGLESS! Not Worth A Damn.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
.
.
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Omni
(Philadelphia) & Amtrak crash …


++++ Search on ‘reservations‘ & ‘hotel‘ for other related posts >>>>


expediaconifrf

Click to ENLARGE and study. Actual Expedia hotel conformation.


A CONFIRMED hotel reservation from Expedia means NOTHING.

NADA.

All it means is that Expedia ‘accepted’ your reservation. It has NOTHING to do with whether the actual hotel accepted and CONFIRMED that reservation.

Got that?

Let me explain that to you again, and use the above as a real-life example.

Though I had the above Expedia hotel confirmation, with a confirmation number, the hotel, i.e., the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District, had NEVER received my reservation let alone confirmed it.

wyndahmaconfassadfad

Click to ENLARGE.

The Expedia reservation number has NOTHING to do with the Wyndham. It is BUT an Expedia reservation number.

Wyndham confirmation numbers are much shorter, such as this.

********

Though I do not travel that much anymore I used to travel much, much more than most. For about 15 years of my life I used to travel, out-of-town, 3 to 4 nights a week. So I am no stranger to travel. Unless it is a hotel that knows me by name (and that used to be the case with many of the major hotels in Raleigh, N.C., since I was there every week) I never arrive at a hotel BEFORE reconfirming my reservation. As I have stated before I have contingency plans for my contingency plans. So …

This trip, to Philadelphia, blighted by the Brandon Bostian Amtrak 188 crash, was the first time, ever, that I personally have used Expedia. Never again.

Though I had the Expedia conformation, I was NOT going to arrive at a Hotel, with the two kids, until I knew that everything was OK.

So, I called up the hotel. They did NOT have the reservation. Never heard of it.

I called back again about 4 hours later. Same result. The Wyndham Philadelphia did NOT have a reservation for me.

I called Expedia.

I got to the bottom of it — BUT NOT thanks to Expedia.

The Wyndham was outstanding. I was very impressed.

Expedia, from what I can see, based on this experience, sucks.

So, be AWARE. Be VERY AWARE.

A confirmed hotel reservation from Expedia could have YOU sleeping on the streets.


Philadelphia Amtrak 188: Was Brandon Bostian Trying To Make A Powerful Political Statement (Rather Than Suicidal)?

amtrackday2.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
.
.
.
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> 
Brandon Bostian mental status?
>> Brandon Bostian doing a Germanwings?
>> Philadelphia Amtrak 188: Business Class car.
>> Amtrak handling of crash ….
>> Philadelphia, Omni Hotel Independence Park …

≡≡ Was Germanwings Lubitz on antidepressants?
≡≡ 
Lufthansa to file Bankruptcy to avoid Germanwings liability?

++++ Search on ‘train‘, ‘plane‘, ‘cars‘ & ‘automobile‘ for other related posts >>>>


amtrackmsnbcacc

Click to access MSNBC original.

amtrackacccomb

Click to ENLARGE and read. Acceleration in the last 49 seconds. Yes, 49 seconds. I did a graph to show that it was straight line acceleration. 40% in 49 seconds!


Now transpires that Brandon Bostian was some kind of zealous ‘travel safety’ advocate plus a confirmed loner.

So was he, most likely extremely aware that Congress, in D.C., was in the process of debating Amtrak funding set out to make an indelible statement?

Think about it.

Scary.

Was this the ULTIMATE in a graphic Political Statement!

Interesting that nobody is coming forward about his girlfriend, wife or even any other partner. Seems to have been a loner.

Obviously had to have had some mental issues, even if he was not getting treatment.

I have concluded that today’s incessant social media is aggravating mental unease. All this non-stop ‘relationship’ chatter on Facebook, Twitter etc. makes those susceptible to such anxious, rattled and depressed. I see it all around me.

Definitely some destructive element at work. The brake were working.

The sudden braking may have been in his plan ALL along. Sudden, straight line acceleration followed by applying the emergency brakes, on a sharp corner, was GUARANTEED to jackknife and derail the train. So the braking could have been the ‘belt-and-braces’ — making doubly sure that the train would derail.

But I am beginning to think that there could have been a political statement aspect to this tragic crash.

Food for thought. Maybe we might be getting to the point that we might be better off with driverless trains and even planes.


Philadelphia Amtrak 188 Train — Should “Business Class” Car Have Been Right Behind Locomotive?

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
.
.
.
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Brandon Bostian mental profile?
>> Brandon Bostian
doing a Germanwings?
>> Amtrak handling of crash ….
>> Philadelphia, Omni Hotel Independence Park …

≡≡ Was Germanwings Lubitz on antidepressants?
≡≡ 
Lufthansa to file Bankruptcy to avoid Germanwings liability?

++++ Search on ‘train‘, ‘plane‘, ‘cars‘ & ‘automobile‘ for other related posts >>>>


amtrakbusaadsad

Click to ENLARGE and view here. From the “New York Times”. Use link below to access original — which I have also quoted in earlier posts.


Sad and ironic that the rail car that suffered the most damage — unimaginable in its devastation — was the ‘Business Class‘ car, which happened to be the ‘first car‘, right behind the locomotive. I assume that most of the fatalities and serious injuries that resulted happened to passengers in this car. Seems sad. They pay the most and end up suffering the most.

But, this is the same argument about First and Business class on airplanes. They are always at the front. I know. I have, over my 62 years, flown 2.5 million miles (with a Lifetime Gold Card from AA to commemorate my million miles just with them) and at least 60% of this was in the front of planes. One of my earlier wives used to always quip, “Anu has no idea that planes have seats with seat numbers that are greater than ‘6’”.

And then there is this very famous and profound adage that goes: “Have you ever heard of a plane flying into a mountain backwards?”

On planes ONE of the reasons that First/Business class is at the front has to do with engine noise — plane engines either being in the middle or back of the plane. 

Not sure why you would put the Business Class car right behind the engine? Not sure if that is always the case either. It is possible that the logic is that the locomotive, in front, provides the MOST ‘cushioning’ — though in a front impact it also means that that carriage is closer to the impact.

I do not, and never have, travelled Amtrak that much. The last time was about 4 years ago. The trip to Philadelphia, that got disrupted by this Brandon Bostian recklessness, was unusual. I typically fly or drive. I will have to do some research as to what would be the optimum positioning for a Business Class car KNOWING that each and every train accident has its own dynamics. Just the stuff that rattle around my brain.


Brandon Bostian, Reckless Engineer Of Philadelphia Amtrak 188 — Does Amtrak Know His Mental Profile?

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
.
.
.
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Brandon Bostian
doing a Germanwings?
>> Amtrak handling of crash ….
>> Philadelphia, Omni Hotel Independence Park …

≡≡ Was Germanwings Lubitz on antidepressants?
≡≡ 
Lufthansa to file Bankruptcy to avoid Germanwings liability?

++++ Search on ‘train‘, ‘plane‘, ‘cars‘ & ‘automobile‘ for other related posts >>>>


amtrackday2
amtrakday2sadsad
Both from this Fox News coverage. Click here to access.


I have a sinking feeling that we have some type of mental issue here — with Brandon Bostian.

There are more people with mental issues in the U.S. than most people even have a clue. I saw these pictures of Brandon Bostian, this morning, while having my coffee in bed, in the U.K. “Daily Mail“, the ONLY newspaper I read (and have been doing so since the 1970s).

amtrakbrand

amtrakbostonas

Click to access U.K. “Daily Mail” original.

Nice enough looking guy, even dashingly handsome in his later pictures, BUT look at some of the earlier ones.

Hhhhmmmm.

Simple question. Does Amtrak ever check the mental situation of their engineers?

The statement by Brandon Bostian’s lawyer (above) is VERY telling. No “health issues to speak of”. Good lawyer-speak. Says nothing about MENTAL health.

Says he was not on medication. So on face value it would mean he wasn’t taking any ‘psychiatric’ drugs. BUT again lawyer-speak. Did he STOP taking such drugs? Did that result in suicidal thoughts? Irrational behavior? Did anybody say anything to Amtrak about him acting strange?

Wakeup call for Amtrak. You have to be on top of the mental profile of all your employees.

We used to have the saying “Going Postal”.

Will be have to add “Going Amtrak”?


Was Brandon Bostian, Philadelphia Amtrak 188 Engineer Doing A Germanwings? Was He On Antidepressants?

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
.
.
.
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Amtrak handling of crash ….
>>
Philadelphia, Omni Hotel Independence Park …

≡≡ Was Germanwings Lubitz on antidepressants?
≡≡ 
Lufthansa to file Bankruptcy to avoid Germanwings liability?

++++ Search on ‘train‘, ‘plane‘, ‘cars‘ & ‘automobile‘ for other related posts >>>>


amtrakgerman1aa

From the “New York Times”. Click to access.


amtrakbostonian

From CNN. Click to access.


This tragedy, Amtrak train 188 derailment with 7 fatalities, hit close to home. I was booked on an Amtrak train to Philadelphia on Thursday, May 14, 2015. Suffice to say I can’t get to Philadelphia by train at the moment. But that is small potatoes and I am not going to bitch about that (though I am put out by how poorly Amtrak is handling the aftermath). The accident, however, totally rattled Deanna. It was too ‘close’ for her comfort.

I had, hours ahead of the reports, suspected speed. But even I had not thought the train would have been going at TWICE the speed limit.

They say that they have ruled out terrorism but I think they might have to revisit that.

The engineer, Brandon Bostian, was up to SOMETHING. He had to accelerate that train from a dead stop, at Philadelphia’s station, to 106 mph in less than 10 minutes. That is going some.

Was he trying to a Germanwings?

Is he another Andreas Lubitz? Trial run that went wrong?

Yes, I know he hit the emergency brakes 2 seconds ahead of the crash. That doesn’t rule out attempted suicide. He just might have lost his nerve at the last minute.

Was he on antidepressants? Will they be even allowed to ask?

I am AMAZED that he was allowed to have a cell phone on him. There is a warrant out for it (and a claim that he has already handed it in). I thought engineers were no longer permitted electronics in the cab?

If he was on the phone ‘they’ should, before any other punishment, shove that phone down his throat. 7 people killed.

I have not been following what has happened to other ‘at fault’ engineers. This guy deserves all that awaits him.