Do the Numbers Matter? Read this one . . .

June 11, 1982, New Haven, Connecticut: Amtrak 903 was a common Amtrak AEM-7. I made this photo of the locomotive during the New Haven engine change, shortly after it arrived from Washington D.C.

My father and I had traveled up from Washington behind 903.

The F40PH that will take the train the rest of the way to Boston South Station is at the left.

What is so special about 903?

At 1:30pm on January 4, 1987, at Chase, Maryland, Amtrak 903 and 900 leading train 94, ‘The Colonial,’ collided with Conrail B36-7s 5045, 5052 and 5044 at a speed of more than 100mph . The engineer of 903 and 15 others were killed in the wreckage. Engines 903 and 900 were completely destroyed.

The locomotive engineer of the Conrail engines survived the wreck without major injury. He was later found at fault for the accident. The details of this accident forever changed American railroading. Veteran railroad crews refer to the time prior to January 4th as ‘BC’ (before Chase).

On June 12, 1982 number 903 was just another AEM-7, and a relatively new locomotive at that.

Exposed on Kodak Tri-X black & white film with my Leica 3A rangefinder.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!