LIRR Train Derailment

Catching up on transit news from the last few days, the world of rail transportation had another black eye over the weekend as a LIRR commuter train derailed after sideswiping a maintenance train just east of the New Hyde Park station. Sarah Maslin Nir & Emily Palmer of the New York Times has more:

Thirty-three people were injured, four seriously, when two Long Island Rail Road trains, one carrying about 600 people, sideswiped each other on Saturday night, the authorities said.

The collision, involving a single-car maintenance train and a 12-car commuter train as they traveled eastbound, sheared chunks off the commuter train cars, several of which derailed just east of the New Hyde Park station in Nassau County. Frightened passengers were trapped in the darkened cars for nearly an hour as rescue crews worked to free them.

The Long Island crash occurred just over a week after a New Jersey Transit commuter train barreled into a station wall at the Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey, killing a woman and injuring more than 100 other people, and raising concerns about the safety of the area’s trains.

The collision occurred just after 9 p.m. on Saturday on the Main Line when a track maintenance train, moving on an adjacent track, entered the track space of the commuter train. The cause is being investigated by the Federal Railroad Administration.

There was a moment when Liana Salgado said she thought, “All right, I’m dead.” Ms. Salgado, 19, was on her way back from New York Comic Con on Saturday night with friends, all dressed as comic book characters. She said the train suddenly gave a tremendous jolt, sending her coffee flying. Ms. Salgado said she injured her shoulder but declined medical treatment.

Ray Martel, 41, a radio producer who lives in West Hempstead, N.Y., was on the train when it came to a screeching, shuddering halt. He described himself as shaken but unharmed. He said the collision, as well as the crash in Hoboken, had made him concerned about the safety of trains. “I think we need to spend more money on infrastructure; we need more safety features,” Mr. Martel said. “I’m not scared to ride them, but now I think we need to make this a priority.”

Click here for the complete report.

For starters, I am very glad that no fatalities occurred as a result of the accident. I also wish those injured have full recoveries as soon as possible.

It is way too early to determine the cause & I definitely do not want to speculate on the cause. So I will anxiously await the full report as to what happened as we need full answers on why this happened, who was at fault & could anything have been done to prevent this from happening.

With the recent New Jersey Transit accident in Hoboken that resulted in a fatality, rail safety has become a huge issue again in our region. It is a shame that it takes accidents & sometimes death to get the topic out in the forefront when it is something that should always be.

Hopefully time passing won’t lead to the issue being pushed to the back burner with our elected officials & media because it is not a sexy issue to rally around. Commuters deserve the safest possible transit options & infrastructure possible as anything less is completely unacceptable!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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