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October 16, 2015

Two rail disaster drills set for this weekend

A drill to assess an emergency plan to address a full-scale railroad emergency will be held Sunday morning in Montgomery County.

Multiple agencies, including SEPTA, the Conshohocken Borough Emergency Management, the Montgomery County bomb squad and local first response units, will test their Passenger Train Emergency Preparedness Plan at the Conshohocken station at 10 Washington St., beginning at 8:45 a.m.

The real-time exercise will consist of two emergency scenarios with a passenger train: an act of terrorism and a train colliding with a car at a grade crossing. Both incidents will involve multiple "casualties."

The drill will provide training to first responders; assess coordination of rescue and response of local police, fire and EMT departments and SEPTA; and evaluate communications among several agencies during response to a mass-casualty incident, SEPTA said in a statement.

The exercise will not interfere with shuttle buses stopping at the Conshohocken station as weekend track work continues on the regional rail line between Norristown and Wayne Junction, SEPTA said.


A fire safety drill will close PATCO's Camden City Hall station between 8 a.m. and noon on Sunday.

Emergency response teams from PATCO, as well as Camden Fire Department, fire-safety officials from Camden County and law enforcement will be at the station to direct and assess emergency preparedness capabilities.

During the exercise, the nearby Broadway/Walter Rand Transportation Center will remain open, PATCO said. Regular service will be in effect at Broadway/Walter Rand with trains every 30 minutes. Trains will bypass the City Hall Station, however, and passengers will not have access to the City Hall station during the drill.

“This exercise is one of the many ways in which we work with our first-responder partners in fire departments and law enforcement to ensure that we are prepared to protect our riders and customers in any emergency situation,” PATCO General Manager John D. Rink said in a statement. “We wish to assure our riders and area residents that this is simply a drill and that there is no cause for concern.”

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