Metro-North Train Derailment Possibly Caused By Fast SpeedsBy: Chad Sweely - December 2, 2013
On Sunday, December 1st, 2013, a New York Metro-North commuter train unexpectedly derailed in The Bronx, killing four passengers and leaving many others injured (according to a CNN exclusive). New data compiled by the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has concluded that excessive speed may have been a factor in the cause of Sunday’s derailment.
According to a new report from CNN, the NTSB has finalized a preliminary report that fast speeds may have been a possible factor in the Metro-North train’s derailment this past Sunday. Event recorders taken from the locomotive of the train (as well as another car) communicated to the NTSB that the train was traveling 82 mph as it entered the 30 mph designated curve.
William Rockefeller, the engineer aboard the Metro-North train, stated to investigators that the breaks were applied; however, the train did not slow down. According to MSN, Earl Weener of the NTSB stated that the breaks were applied “very late in the game” for a train going as it fast as it was. MSN also reports that Rockefeller’s cellphone is also being examined to see if the engineer was distracted during the time of the derailment.
Weener was also asked by various reporters if faulty breaks or human error were the cause of Sunday’s derailment. His response to that inquiry was “The answer is, at this point in time, we can’t tell.”
MSN also states that the NTSB has been urging railroads for quite some time to “install technology that can stop wrecks caused by excessive speed or other problems.” In 2008, Congress required many railroad companies (including Metro-North) to install these facilities by 2015.
According to CNN, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo exclaimed in a statement that the information from the event recorders “makes clear that, as we suspected, extreme speed was a central cause of this crash.” Cuomo also stated that “when the investigation concludes, we will make sure that any responsible parties are held accountable. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of the victims of yesterday’s crash.”[Image source: USA Today Video (0:05)]