Extreme Speed Appears a Factor in Metro North Train Crash

Federal safety officials indicated on Monday that the Metro North commuter train involved in this weekend's deadly Metro North train crash in the Bronx was traveling at the speed of 82 mph as it entered the 30-mph curve where it left the tracks.

The National Transportation Safety Board reported this information based upon on preliminary data from the black boxes taken from the locomotive and one of the other cars. The data gathered indicated that the engineer cut the throttle six seconds before the locomotive stopped. Additionally, the brakes  were not applied until five seconds before that time.

As a result of the ongoing investigation, the engineer, William Rockefeller, and the other members of the train crew were still being interviewed Monday afternoon, and  a determination as to the cause of the Metro North train crash has yet to be made.

Tragically, four people died in the early Sunday morning train crash on New York's Metro-North commuter line,  in the Bronx approximately 10 miles north of Manhattan's Grand Central Station.  Additionally, 67 more individuals were injured and of those 19 were still in the hospital as of Monday night, with three of those individuals remaining in critical condition.

The train's engineer advised NTSB investigators that he applied the brakes but that they did not function properly. Investigators however have reported no indication of any brake problems. The train's recording data which reported the speed of 82 mph  is far  above the rated speed for the curve where the derailment occurred and is even faster than the 70 mph speed limit for the section that headed into the curve. Governor Andrew Cuomo said the trains data recorder "makes clear that, as we suspected, extreme speed was a central cause of this crash."

The NTSB is continuing its investigation of the crash which has yet to determine the cause of this horrific accident.  It would however appear that the extreme speed at which the train was traveling just prior to its derailment is a major factor that is being investigated.