Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Trainmaster emails Stuck on MARC about likely suicide

Shortly after Camden Line's train #856 arrived in Baltimore about two hours late because of a likely suicide just south of Riverdale, State Trainmaster Dave Johnson sent Stuck on MARC the following email about the incident. I'd like to note that before Mr. Johnson boarded #856 there was at least 10 minutes of silence after passengers heard a "thump" and the train stopped in between stations. Later we received vague information from a conductor. Once Mr. Johnson took control of the situation, he kept the passengers abreast of developments in a calm, efficient and professional manner. I appreciate how he handled the night's events, and our condolences go out to the victim's family and friends as well as the MARC crew that had to witness the event.

Here's Mr. Johnson's email:


My name is Dave Johnson and I am the Trainmaster for the State of Maryland on the Camden and Penn Lines. I didn't even realize you were on P856 tonight, but now thinking back remember seeing you--I met you last week at the Meet the Management when you were talking to John Hovatter.

The incident tonight was, by all accounts, a suicide. I would commend to you and your blog readers the following excellent article that appeared last month in the Washington Post. All too often, the engineers and other railroad operating employees are forgotten in the trauma of an incident like this. I'm proud to say that I've known Bruce Evans for many, many years and he is a highly skilled consummate professional, like the engineers in MARC train service:

Thanks again for your patience tonight.

-Dave Johnson

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