NEW HAVEN TRAIN ACCIDENT REPORT FINDS SUPPORT LACKING ON TRAIN
As most of us know, on May 17, 2013 a Metro North train bound for New Haven, Connecticut derailed during evening rush hour and after coming to a halt was struck by a westbound train injuring 76 people. The National Transportation Safety Board reported that a May 15, 2013 inspection found an insulated rail joint used to pinpoint the location of the trains along the New Haven rail line lacked necessary support from the rail bed and was moving out of alignment when the trains rolled over it. A Metro North inspector flagged the defective piece of track but did not issue an order to close that section of the track or to slow the trains down.
An on-board data recorder indicated that the eastbound train that initially derailed was traveling about 70 mph when it off the tracks stopping in the path of the oncoming westbound train. The onboard data recorder from the westbound train showed that the engineer used the emergency brakes and slowed the train from approximately 70 mph to 23 mph at the time of the impact.
A Metro-North spokesperson indicated that the visual inspection two days before the New Haven train accident identified that stones around that section of the track near the site of the derailment needed to be pressed down in the future but did not detect a need for track closure or immediate action to keep the track in mobilized. Additional information will be provided soon as it becomes available.