NTSB: Train that derailed was traveling 82 mph - WFSB 3 Connecticut

NTSB: Train that derailed was traveling 82 mph as it approached 30 mph zone


Some riders told Eyewitness News Sunday's deadly Metro-North train derailment in New York had them a little on edge.

A Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx on Sunday morning, killing at least four people and injuring 63 as the train stopped just inches from falling into frigid water.

Commuters on the New Haven Line were not impacted by Sunday's derailment and many got to New York City without any issues.

However, the deadly derailment weighed on a lot of riders who take the train often.

"So that kinda makes me feel a little uneasy about the trains," said rider Amanda Struks, of Westbrook.

In May, a Metro-North train jumped the tracks in Bridgeport and collided with an oncoming train. That crash injured 76 commuters.

According to a preliminary report, the cause of the May collision focused on a rail joint that may have allowed the track to move too much. The final report is not expected for several more months.

The investigation into the New York crash is just getting underway. According to the data recorders on the derailed train, it was going 82 mph as it approached a turn where it should have been going 30 mph. Federal investigators are trying to figure out why it was going that fast, causing it to derail and nearly go into the river.

While federal investigators try to figure out the exact cause for both crashes, some riders were worried the lengthy in-depth process prevents quick safety improvements.

"I think everyone is concerned about and hope to find the results of that investigation," said rider Jamilyn Manning-White, of New Haven.

At New Haven's Union Station, the mounting concerns were magnified when you take into account that this is the second major Metro-North derailment in six months.  However, some people are confident in the rails

"I think it's safe," said rider Dan Friedline of Fairfield. "I don't know if it's well engineered."

As for Sunday's accident, while this took place on the Hudson Line, Eyewitness News has learned that the last two cars of the seven-car train were from Connecticut.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, which is the agency that conducts these investigations, and told Eyewitness News Monday these cases on average take a year to complete.

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said there needs to be a better investment in rail equipment and tracks, along with maintenance and operations.

"This federal investigation needs to give us answers, but we also need action because this cascading series of incidents, some of them very tragic, are causing us to lose faith and credibility in rail transportation," he said.

And while the NTSB is still investigating May's Metro-North derailment in Bridgeport, Blumenthal asked federal investigators to expedite their work so better decisions can be made about safety.

"Riders are losing patience and so are a lot of us as public officials because we want answers to know why these incidents have occurred and recur," Blumenthal said.

Investigators said they were able to obtain two data recorders, much like a black box found in airplanes, from inside the train. They said they will be analyzing the data and will talk to the engineer and his crew.

In Connecticut, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a contract with Connecticut Department of Transportation and MTA is in charge of all of the inspections and maintenance of the trains and tracks.

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