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Amtrak able to resume partial service on Acela line

By wire services
Published April 17, 2005

WASHINGTON - Amtrak cobbled together enough cars and equipment Saturday to run regular trains on the four Acela Express trips scheduled between Washington and Boston.

Brake problems forced the beleaguered passenger railroad on Friday to suspend high-speed service in the Northeast at least through Wednesday and probably for more than two months.

Today, the railroad planned to run three of its 10 Acela trips with substitute trains, Amtrak spokeswoman Tracy Connell said.

Amtrak normally runs 15 Acela weekday round trips between New York and Washington and 11 between New York and Boston.

Connell said Amtrak will decide today how to handle the Acela trips scheduled for Monday.

Millimeter-sized cracks were found in 300 of the Acela fleet's 1,440 disc brake rotors. The problem surfaced when a Federal Railroad Administration worker did a routine inspection Thursday night after a high-speed run to test whether Amtrak could speed up the Acela trains slightly in New Jersey on curves between Trenton and Newark.

Amtrak's 20 Acela trains each have 72 brakes.

Suit claims AOL monitor tried to seduce teen

LOS ANGELES - An Internet chat room monitor hired to keep children safe from sexual predators seduced a California girl online and was about to meet her for sex when he was found out by a co-worker, a lawsuit charges.

According to documents filed April 1 in Los Angeles Superior Court, the online relationship began when the girl was 15. She met the AOL employee in a children's chat room and confided in him about her parents' divorce and her troubles making friends.

Their conversations online and by phone became increasingly explicit, the lawsuit says. They were preparing to meet on the girl's 17th birthday when one of the monitor's co-workers became suspicious and prevented the encounter.

The lawsuit charges AOL and its parent company, Time Warner Inc., with failing to supervise the employee and of falsely advertising that its online service was safe for children. It also charges the monitor with inflicting emotional distress.

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