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Accident Report Detail

​Derailment and Subsequent Collision of Two Metro-North Passenger Trains

Executive Summary

​On Friday, May 17, 2013, at 6:01 p.m. eastern daylight time, eastbound Metro-North Railroad (Metro-North) passenger train1548, which had departed Grand Central Terminal (GCT), New York, New York, headed toward New Haven, Connecticut, derailed from main track4 at milepost (MP) 53.25 on the New Haven Line Subdivision 7.The derailed train was then struck by westbound Metro-North passenger train 1581, which had departed New Haven, Connecticut, bound for GCT. As a result of the collision, at least 65 persons were injured. Metro-North estimated about 250 passengers were on each train at the time of the accident.

Probable Cause

​The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the derailment was an undetected broken pair of compromise joint bars on the north rail of track 4on the Metro-North Railroad New Haven subdivision at milepost 53.25 resulting from: (1) the lack of a comprehensive track maintenance program that prioritized the inspection findings to schedule proper corrective maintenance; (2)the regulatory exemption for high-density commuter railroads from the requirement to traverse the tracks they inspect; and (3) Metro-North's decisions to defer scheduled track maintenance.

Accident Location: Bridgeport , CT    
Accident Date: 5/17/2013
Accident ID: DCA13MR003

Date Adopted: 10/24/2014
NTSB Number: RAB1409
NTIS Number:  

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