NYC Train Brakes Upgraded After Metro-North Crash

    December 15, 2013
    Aleyia Dixon
    Comments are off for this post.

Here’s something that may shock even the most jaded New Yorker: The train that derailed on December 1st had an automatic braking system that most likely could have prevented the crash– if it wasn’t disabled.

The Associated Press tells us that the officials at NYC’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority believe that it is up to the engineer to use proper speeds. Apparently, no room for error is allowed for an engineer– although they are human.

The tune has changed quickly since the December 1st derailment of the Metro-North Railroad commuter train that killed four people and injured 60 more. MTA has now altered the signaling system so that the alarm helps to avoid collisions as well as excess speeds around curves.

It seems hard to believe that the officials responsible for transporting millions of people a year were satisfied with the “If it ain’t broke, don’t use the available safety features.” mentality. The spokesperson for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority confidently supported this decision with the assertion that, “We operated trains for 30 years and 11 months without a fatality.”

William Rockefeller admits to exhaustion and inattentiveness while handling the train that fatal day, and while that doesn’t excuse him at all, he merely succumbed to being human. Powerful machinery is equipped with safety mechanisms to compensate for human error, and a tragic situation could have been avoided with a few adjustments.

The December 1st crash has opened eyes– upgraded control systems to prevent collisions and high speeds are now mandatory in every U.S. railroad by 2015.

Should the engineer should be fully blamed for the December 1st crisis although all available safety features were not used? Let us know what you think.

[image: Youtube]

  • carol

    No. There should be an organizational review about changing staff members tour assignments and its affect on attentiveness.

  • michael sullivan

    driver arer , 100 per sent

  • http://thecbclub.com Moss Miller

    No. He was an unfortunate victim of the bureaucracy…New schedule, no alerter on his control stand, even after a similar accident killed many on NJT in February, 1996; and no communication from the conductor after he passed the Riverdale Station, just 2 miles north of the curve, going at 80 mph on run 8 of his throttle. At this point the train should have been beginning to slow down, the throttle notching down to (my guess) run 3 and then the brake beginning to slow the train down. The conductor must have also been asleep.

    At least now Metro North will be forced to install these alerters on all existing control stands. That way, after 30 seconds of inactivity by the engineer, a buzzer will go off. After all, it is human to sometimes become inattentive during a long, monotonous journey. For now, Billy Rockefeller’s life is a mess and he has to live with his conscience …the safety upgrades are long overdue, and that is the good side of this incident.