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Metro North 6 articles

Metro-North Train Crash investigation leaves room for safety

Federal investigators found the cause of a deadly 2015 Metro-North train crash that killed six people in Mount Pleasant, New York, was a driver who moved her Mercedes Benz SUV onto the tracks despite active crossing warnings and closed gates, but they also found room for safety improvements. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the driver, Ellen Brody, drove onto the tracks on Feb. 3, 2015, “for undetermined reasons.” Witnesses said the vehicle became stuck on the tracks, and investigators determined that Ms. Brody exited her vehicle and walked back to where the gate had lowered, reducing the time she ... Read More

Investigators focus on third rail in probe of deadly Metro-North commuter train crash

Federal authorities investigating last week’s deadly Metro-North commuter train crash in Valhalla, N.Y., are focusing on an electrified “third rail” unique to that railroad that speared the first and second train cars. The collision last Friday killed five commuters and the driver of an SUV who witnesses say became stuck on the tracks by a lowered crossing gate. The impact caused the train, traveling 58 miles per hour at the time, to push the SUV about a thousand feet down the track where it erupted in a giant blaze that quickly consumed the first rail car. The severity of the ... Read More

Deadly N.Y. commuter train crash triggers sweeping safety investigations

Federal investigators probing the cause of a deadly Metro-North commuter train crash in Valhalla, N.Y., are analyzing the crash-worthiness of the train cars, the condition and effectiveness of rail signals and crossing gates, traffic and highway dynamics, and other variables in an effort to identify changes that could help prevent future crashes or at least lessen the severity of them. The crash occurred Tuesday about 6:40 p.m. after Ellen Brody, a 49-year-old mother of three, became stuck on the tracks after the railroad crossing gate arm came down on the back of her Mercedes SUV. Witnesses say that Brody exited ... Read More

Most train engineers say nodding off on the job isn’t unusual

After the deadly crash of a Metro-North commuter train in the Bronx, N.Y. last Sunday morning, engineer William Rockefeller told Anthony Bottalico, general chairman of the Association of Commuter Rail Employees (ACRE), that he had nodded off moments before the train rounded a sharp curve and derailed. Although Mr. Rockefeller’s admission may come as a surprise to commuters who ride the train to and from work every day, it actually underscores some very common problems among all transportation professionals who haul passengers: fatigue and “highway hypnosis.” National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman Deborah Hersman told NBC News that fatigue is an ... Read More

Investigators believe fatigue may have played a role in deadly Bronx train crash

Authorities investigating the deadly crash of a Metro-North commuter train in the Bronx, N.Y., Sunday morning believe the engineer driving the train may have fallen asleep, allowing it to accelerate 52 mph over the speed limit ahead of a sharp curve. The derailment killed four passengers and injured about 75 others, including the engineer. William Rockefeller, 45, told supervisors that he hit the brakes as the train approached the curve, but it would not stop. Mr. Rockefeller has been employed by Metro-North for two decades and has been a company engineer for the last 11 years. He had an unblemished ... Read More

OSHA investigates construction company after CT bridge collapse

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Bridgeport, Conn., office are investigating the scene of a bridge collapse that seriously injured a 59-year-old construction employee. Anthony Mariano, a member of a construction crew employed by Brunali Construction Co. of Southington, was operating an excavation machine Tuesday morning beneath a bridge in the city of Naugatuck. Sensing the bridge had become unstable, Mariano cleared his coworkers from under the bridge and was about to remove the excavating machine when a 100-foot section dislodged and fell. Paramedics rushed Mariano to Waterbury Hospital and then airlifted him to Yale-New Haven Hospital, ... Read More