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Thread: 4 Dead in Metro-North Train Derailment in the Bronx

  1. #1

    Default 4 Dead in Metro-North Train Derailment in the Bronx


    Published: December 1, 2013

    Four people were killed after a Metro-North Railroad train derailed Sunday morning in the Bronx, officials said.

    A total of 67 people were injured, including 11 critically, a New York Fire Department spokesman, Jim Long, said.

    The derailment occurred when several cars of a Hudson Line train headed south from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., left the tracks about 7:20 a.m. just north of the Spuyten Duyvil station near where tracks pass under the the Henry Hudson Bridge , according to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman, Aaron Donovan.

    At a news conference, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the operator of the train was among the people injured and was being treated. The families of the four victims had not yet been notified as of midmorning, he said.

    “It’s obviously a very tragic situation,” Mr. Cuomo said.

    Three of the four people who were killed were thrown from the train during the derailment, said Edward S. Kilduff, the New York Fire Department’s chief of department.

    for the rest:

  2. #2


    What's with Metro North lately? What is this, the third derailment in the last year or so?

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    The engineer is saying the brakes failed. If he was operating at a proper speed, couldn't he have just throttled down at the curve? It would be the same as a driver safely operating a car simply letting his foot off the gas, and not having to use the brakes.

  4. #4


    A train has a lot more mass than a car, and there is less friction with metal wheels on metal rails than rubber tires on asphalt.

    The train was moving south. I know the curve and it's sharp. Not sure there is any grade, but if there is, I think it would be downhill from north to south.

    The diesel engine was pushing the passenger cars from the back.

  5. #5
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    That side needs to be banked up a little bit.

  6. #6


    Metro-North Train Sped at 82 M.P.H. in 30 M.P.H. Zone Before Crash

    Published: December 2, 2013

    The Metro-North Railroad train that derailed on Sunday, killing four people and injuring dozens more, was traveling at roughly 82 miles per hour just before it veered off the tracks, federal investigators said on Monday, nearly three times the allowable 30 m.p.h. speed through a curving stretch of track.

    Earl Weener, a board member with the National Transportation Safety Board, said that it remained unclear if the speed was the result of human error or faulty equipment. But the train’s data recorders, which revealed the speed, also indicated that the pressure on the throttle did not drop to zero until six seconds before the derailment.

    The extraordinary speed — even a relative straightaway north of the crash site has a maximum allowable speed of 70 miles per hour — shed new light on the deadliest New York City train derailment in more than two decades.

    The safety board said that interviews with the engineer, identified as William Rockefeller, began on Monday but had not been completed. Drug and alcohol tests had been conducted, though Mr. Weener said the results were not yet available. Mr. Rockefeller’s cellphone has also been recovered, Mr. Weener said.

    In a series of television appearances earlier on Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that it appeared that the train was traveling too fast as it hit a curve in the tracks.

    “I think it is going to be speed-related,” Mr. Cuomo said on the “Today” show. “It was a tricky turn on the system, but it is a turn that has been there for decades.”

    The governor’s comments came as workers used huge cranes to right the derailed passenger cars early Monday, clearing the wreckage and working to restore service for thousands of commuters.

    Mr. Rockefeller was released from the hospital late Sunday.

    A Metropolitan Transportation Authority official said the engineer told emergency medical workers that when he realized it was heading into the curve too quickly, he “dumped the brakes,” an emergency maneuver, and though the train slowed somewhat, it then derailed.

    A key question, the authorities said, would be not only whether the brakes were applied — and when — but also why the train was traveling so fast as to require an emergency maneuver.

    Mr. Cuomo said there were three possible causes for the accident: the condition of the tracks, an equipment failure or human error.

    On Sunday, a longtime engineer on the Hudson line, who requested anonymity because he did not want to be seen as involving himself in the case of a colleague, said that despite the sharpness of the curve, the stretch was “not an especially dangerous area” for experienced operators.

    “It’s like driving your car,” he said. “When you’re coming up to a curve, you slow down.”

    Rail safety experts have wondered whether a system known as positive train control — which Metro-North and other railroads must install by 2015, according to a federal mandate — might have mitigated the crash.

    While it is unclear if the system could have prevented the episode entirely, one feature of positive train control is its capacity to slow trains as they go around bends like the one at Spuyten Duyvil.

    Last month, the authority’s board approved a contract to begin installing the new system.

    Some 26,000 people had their Monday morning commute disrupted. Metro-North’s Hudson line is running limited service between Poughkeepsie and Yonkers, and is suspended entirely south of Yonkers.

    Many riders put the delays in perspective.

    When the 5:54 a.m. train from Poughkeepsie left the tracks on Sunday, it was the first time in the history of the Metro-North Railroad that a passenger has been killed in a crash.

    When she first heard about the accident, Michelle Manning said her first thought was about how she would get to work. Then she learned of the casualties.

    “Four people killed, 11 critically injured, it’s awful,” she said at the Yonkers train station. “It’s scary because I take that route every single day. I’ve never been afraid to take Metro-North, so this is upsetting.”

    Still, she had to get to work.

    On Monday, she boarded the first shuttle bus to the 242nd Street station on the No. 1 subway line around 5:15 a.m.

    “It normally takes me 23 minutes to get to work,” Ms. Manning, 38, said. “Today I’m budgeting three hours.”

    Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were broken up into four teams, focusing on different areas, including one team that was working to validate the information of the train’s data recorders, which could provide key information about why the train may have been speeding.

    Mr. Cuomo said that the accident was much worse up close than it appeared from a distance.

    “It was truly a horrific situation,” he said. “It looked like a child’s train set that was just strewn about.”

    Nate Schweber contributed reporting.

    © 2013 The New York Times Company

  7. #7


    I came across some confusion in the comments section of news reports about push-pull train operation - where the locomotive is at front and pulls the train in one route direction; but isn't uncoupled at the end of the run, and pushes the train on the return trip.

    Some people thought that the operator remains in the locomotive, but that's not true. The trains have a cab-car (or control car) at the opposite end, similar to a subway car.

  8. #8


    Metro North Engineer May Have Been Asleep at the Wheel Before Derailment

    By Andy Cush | December 3, 2013 - 09:01AM

    The Metro North derailment that killed four and injured dozens may have happened after engineer William Rockefeller fell asleep at the wheel, DNAinfo‘s Murray Weissis reporting. The train went off the rails going 82 miles per hour on a curve that should have been taken at 30. Apparently Rockefeller woke just before the crash and slammed on the brakes, but was too late to save it from derailing.
    Drugs, alcohol, and cell phone use do not appear to be factors in the crash, according to Weiss’s sources. Read the full report here.

  9. #9


    The deadliest rail accident in NYC history - Nov 1, 1918.

    Crash of the Century

  10. #10


    According to the news, there are no automatic braking devices or audible warning systems on Metro-North trains, as there are on other rail lines. These likely would have prevented this accident.

  11. #11


    The engineers often cover up the windows at the front of the passenger compartment in the head car so that passengers don't see them reading the paper or sleeping.

    Some of the wealthiest regions in the country are served by Metro North. However, the railroad's total disregard for human life looks like something out of Brezhnev-era USSR.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    The deadliest rail accident in NYC history - Nov 1, 1918.

    Crash of the Century
    observation - I've been seeing more and more websites use that formatting lately, especially the NY times. Giant Font, the whole page scrolls with 100% width images in between paragraphs. I can't say I like this new template that's been circulating

  13. #13


    Uncovered windows in the engineer's cab would only solve half the problem.

    According to MTA rules, electronic devices must be turned off and stowed away. You would think that it would apply to and sort of reading material.

    There should be cameras in the cabs.

  14. #14
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    That's a good idea. If they can spy on the riders, the riders should have a view of the employees on a monitor.

  15. #15

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