National Transportation Safety Board Issues Preliminary Report on Metro North December Derailment

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WPCNR RAILROAD NEWS. From the National Transportation Safety Board. January 14, 2014:

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued its Preliminary Report on the Metro North December 1 accident at the Spuyten-Dyvil curve in the Bronx. There is nothing much new at this time other than what we already know. Here is the NTSB Preliminary Report:

“The information in this report is preliminary and will be supplemented or corrected during the
course of the investigation.

On December 1, 2013, about 0719 eastern standard time, southbound Metro-North Railroad (Metro-North) passenger train number 8808 derailed at milepost 11.35 on track number 2 of the Metro-North Hudson Line in The Bronx, New York. Train movements on this line are governed by a traffic control system.

The train originated in Poughkeepsie, New York with a destination of Grand Central Station in New York City. It consisted of seven passenger cars and one locomotive at the rear pushing the train.

As a result of the derailment, 4 passengers died and 59 persons were transported to local hospitals for injuries. Metro-North estimated there were about 115 passengers on the train at the time of the derailment. Damage was estimated by Metro-North to be in excess of $9 million.

The weather at the time of the accident was reported as 39° F with cloudy skies. 

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators have completed the on-scene work in The Bronx. The investigation will continue at the NTSB headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Preliminary results of the investigation include:

• The derailment occurred in a 6 degree left hand curve where speed was limited to 30
• Estimated train speed at the time of the derailment was at 82 mph.
• Detailed inspection and testing of the signal system, train brakes, and other mechanical
equipment did not identify any anomalies.
• An inspection of the track in the derailment area did not identify any pre-accident
• All cars on the train and the locomotive derailed.
• Between December 1 and 11, 2013, investigators completed interviews of train crews and
first responders. Interview transcripts will be included in the public docket upon release.
• Locomotive event recorders were sent to the NTSB laboratory in Washington, D.C. for
further analysis.

The parties to the investigation include the Federal Railroad Administration, Metro-NorthRailroad, New York Public Transportation Safety Board, Teamsters Local 808, New York Police Department, New York Fire Department, and Bombardier Transportation. The Association of Commuter Rail Employees (ACRE) was initially designated as a party. However, because one of ACRE’s senior officials made unauthorized comments on the investigation to the media, ACRE was removed as a party on December 3, 2013.



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