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June 21, 2013 | By Tony Perry
A former Amtrak clerk convicted of receiving more than $650,000 in disability and insurance payments after faking injuries was sentenced Friday in San Diego County Superior Court  to 20 years in prison. Wanda Lee Ann Podgurski, 60, had been a fugitive since being convicted in January of 29 felony counts of insurance fraud, tax evasion, perjury and grand theft from the Amtrak Railroad Retirement Board and private insurance companies. Podgurski had been free on $500,000 bail during the two-month trial.
June 6, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Say what you will about Vice President Joe Biden - the man can deliver a eulogy. Just ask him. “I've spoken at more eulogies than I'd like to remember,” he said Wednesday at a service for Frank R. Lautenberg, the late Democratic senator from New Jersey and Biden's former colleague. “I advise you all … Never make a good eulogy.  You'll be asked again and again and again.” In the past, the role of a vice president has often been dismissed as one limited to casting tie-breaking votes in the Senate and attending funerals of dignitaries and foreign heads of state.
June 3, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
A freight train derailed Sunday in a small town outside of Modesto, closing the track temporarily but otherwise causing little damage. About 10 cars derailed just before 5 p.m. Sunday in Denair, a town about 15 miles southeast of Modesto, the Modesto Bee reported. All but three of the cars were empty and no hazardous material was aboard, the Bee reported. There were no reported injuries, but the track was damaged and was closed until further notice. Amtrak is using buses to carry passengers whose trips were affected by the crash.
April 7, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
Three cars on an Amtrak train derailed in western Washington state after a Sunday morning mudslide. No one was hurt. The Amtrak Empire Builder was carrying 86 passengers and 11 crew when the accident happened near Everett. Afterward, the train was unlinked from the three disabled cars and took the  passengers to Mukilteo, where they were transferred to chartered buses, according to Amtrak. Rail traffic between Everett and Seattle, which includes the Amtrak Cascades and Empire Builder trains, was canceled until Tuesday morning, Amtrak said.
March 17, 2013
A fascinating underwater trip I would like to compliment Nancy Baron for her incredible, gutsy and courageous underwater trip ["Blue Magic," March 10], which fascinated me. (I'm a former Italian navy frogman.) In her description of the underwater exploration, she made it look like an easy hobby. Scuba diving is very difficult and requires hard training and a very healthy body. John Rosati Simi Valley Kudos to Amtrak My husband, 10-year-old granddaughter Alyssa and I returned home Feb. 26 from a trip to the Bay Area on Amtrak Train No. 1. On Friday of that week, my daughter Chris received a call from her children's school in Ventura.
January 14, 2013 | By Noelle Carter
Recently, we ran a recipe for Amtrak's braised lamb shanks as one of our Culinary SOS requests . I received some questions from readers, curious about lamb shanks and how to trim them for cooking. Similar in appearance to a drumstick, lamb shanks come from the bottom of a leg of lamb. Relatively inexpensive, the shank is one tough cut of meat. While it's not suitable for quick cooking methods, like grilling, that toughness makes the shank a perfect candidate for slow cooking methods, like braising, the gentle heat slowly softening the meat to rich tenderness.
January 10, 2013 | By David Colker
Coming soon on Amtrak: fewer excuses to not work while commuting. The national railroad, which operates 21,000 route miles, is upgrading its Wi-Fi service to 4G on many routes across the country. Amtrak says the aim is to offer increased wireless speeds and greater reliability. Hopefully, this will enable a wider set of online features for train travelers. According to Amtrak's site, its current Wi-Fi service does not allow for "high-bandwidth actions such as streaming music, streaming video or downloading large files.
November 27, 2012 | By Jay Jones
After years of proposals and discussion from several companies hoping to reintroduce passenger rail service between Southern California and Las Vegas , one project now appears to be on the fast track. Las Vegas Railway Express , the company that plans to operate a weekend, adults-only party train between Fullerton and Sin City, marked a milestone this month with the signing of an agreement with Union Pacific Railroad. The pact will allow the "X Train" to run on tracks that have carried only freight since Amtrak ceased passenger service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas 15 years ago. The venture has purchased 16 rail cars, but they need to be refurbished before the trains can begin operating.
October 25, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Every Tuesday, Amtrak rolls out SmartFares on selected routes and dates that offer a 25% savings on train tickets. Destinations and routes change weekly, and discounted prices are good for trips starting the following week. The deal: The discount applies to coach seats only for travel every day except Fridays and Sundays. The booking dates available for sale tickets vary by route, and sometimes SmartFares sell out. The window for travel lasts about three weeks.  When: Sale tickets must be purchased Tuesdays-Fridays for future travel.
October 1, 2012 | By Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times
In unrelated accidents, two trains were struck by vehicles within 10 miles and a few hours of each other in the Central Valley on Monday, authorities said. In the first accident, dozens of passengers suffered minor to moderate injuries when a big rig carrying cotton gin trash collided with an Amtrak train. On what Amtrak calls the San Joaquin Route - which runs between the Bay Area and Bakersfield - a train carrying about 170 passengers had just left the Hanford station about 12:20 p.m. when the big rig heading west on Kansas Avenue failed to stop at the crossing and plowed into its side, said California Highway Patrol Officer Scott Jobinger.
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