Tuesday, December 10, 2013


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NTSB team completing on-site investigation of Spuyten Duyvil crash scene

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board’s on-site team will leave New York City this week after completing its on-location investigative work into the cause of the derailment of a Metro-North train on December 1. Four people were killed and some 60 others were injured when the seven passenger cars ran off the tracks.

This past weekend, the investigators completed the mechanical inspection of the train and found no anomalies. There were no issues found with the tracks or the signal system. The lead car in which the engineer controlled the train, was examined and the “dead-man” switch, a foot pedal on the floor of the cab that must be depressed to keep the train moving was evaluated. It moved and released as expected, investigators said. The control key switch also worked as designed. The team also conducted a site/distance test and found no problems with visibility.

As a result, the NTSB said that if positive train control technology was installed on the Hudson Line and train, it would have required the engineer to slow the train to an appropriate speed or stop the train in the event the engineer did not do so, likely preventing the derailment.

The investigators completed interviews with crew members, all of whom were cooperative and forthcoming. All said it was a normal run until shortly before the derailment. Results of crew drug tests and cell phone records remain outstanding.