30.December, Claremont NH — The #55 Southbound Vermonter was halted south of the Claremont Junction, NH station, on the NECR Palmer Subdivision. The collision left the Amtrak locomotive damaged and disabled, eventually cutting the head-end power to the train. While a track crew cleared the obstruction, an Amtrak mechanical crew was unable to repair the damaged locomotive.
According to passenger accounts, riders were not informed of the cause of the stop or the delay. Eventually, a rescue “shuttle set,” consisting of two locomotives and two cars was dispatched to the site. After more than five hours of disabled time, the #55 train was again moving with the passengers still aboard through to New Haven, Connecticut.
The incident severely disrupted Vermonter service, including cancellation of the Mon.30.December NB Vermonter #56. Severe weather forecasts also led to cancellations of the Tues.31.December SB #57 and NB #54 (holiday schedule) trains north of Springfield, MA.
Equipment was moved to St. Albans on 31.December to resume normal service with the southbound New Year’s Day #55 train.