NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


NTSB to hold an investigative hearing on two recent Connecticut rail accidents

July 31

The National Transportation Safety Board announces today that on October 22 and 23, 2013, it will convene a consolidated investigative hearing on two recent Connecticut Metro-North Railroad accidents.

On May 17, 2013, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, an eastbound Metro-North passenger train derailed and was struck by a westbound Metro-North passenger train. As a result of the collision, 73 passengers, two engineers and a conductor were transported to local hospitals with injuries. Metro-North estimated there were about 250 passengers on each of the trains at the time of the accident.

Then, on May 28, 2013, a Metro-North track foreman was struck and killed by a Metro-North westbound passenger train in West Haven, Connecticut. The foreman had requested that the section of track he was working on be taken out of service for maintenance. Two Metro-North rail traffic controllers, one of whom was a student controller, placed the section out of service with an electronic block. But, the student controller removed the electronic block a little more than an hour later without the knowledge of the qualified controller or the track foreman.

Last month, the NTSB issued an urgent safety recommendation to Metro-North Railroad to provide redundant protection for track maintenance crews who depend on rail traffic controllers to provide signal protection.

During the October hearing, the NTSB will receive testimony from parties to the investigation on several issues, including track inspection and maintenance, passenger car safety standards, crashworthiness, policy and practice of roadway worker protection and organizational safety culture.

The hearing will be held in the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center in Washington, DC. A detailed agenda and a list of speakers are forthcoming.

Both investigations are ongoing and this hearing will develop additional facts to support the investigations. The determination of a probable cause for each of the accidents will be released when the investigations are complete.

Office of Public Affairs
490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594
(202) 314-6100
Terry Williams
terry.williams@ntsb.gov

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.