**CORRECTED March 2, 2010: The train pictured is not an Acela Express. Full correction here.
The coroner today ruled the deaths of two Interboro HS sophomore girls struck and killed by a high-speed Amtrak train in Delaware County on Thursday were suicides.
Of course my heart goes out the the families of the girls. I also think of their classmate who stood with them on the platform but changed her mind in the moments before they stepped onto the tracks and died. And then, as I read today's story, I worry about the mental health of the train's conductor and engineer. Acela Express trains are permitted to go 110 mph through the area. Once the emergency brake is applied it takes the train the length of three football fields to stop.
I was photographing on the scene at the Norwood station exactly 24 hours after the accident. While we'd heard the rumors about a suicide pact, as I stood on the very same platform as the very same number 2151 Acela Express Boston to Washington train whooshed past me, I could only think how fast, and silent it was.
The snow on the rail bed swirled up in a huge cloud as it passed. Inquirer writer Tom Infield remarked on how it looked like a scene from the Polar Express.