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Accident Report Detail

 
​Metro-North Railroad Derailment

Executive Summary

​On Sunday, December 1, 2013, at 7:19 a.m. eastern standard time, southbound Metro-North Railroad (Metro-North) passenger train 8808 derailed at milepost 11.35 on main track 2 of the Metro-North Hudson Line. The train originated in Poughkeepsie, New York, with a destination of Grand Central Station in New York, New York. The train consisted of seven passenger cars and one locomotive; the locomotive was at the rear of the train in a push configuration. All passenger cars and the locomotive derailed. The derailment occurred in a 6° left-hand curve where the maximum authorized speed was 30 mph. The train was traveling at 82 mph when it derailed. As a result of the derailment, 4 people died and at least 61 persons were injured. Metro-North estimated about 115 passengers were on the train at the time of the derailment.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the engineer's noncompliance with the 30-mph speed restriction because he had fallen asleep due to undiagnosed severe obstructive sleep apnea exacerbated by a recent circadian rhythm shift required by his work schedule. Contributing to the accident was the absence of a Metro-North Railroad policy or a Federal Railroad Administration regulation requiring medical screening for sleep disorders. Also contributing to the accident was the absence of a positive train control system that would have automatically applied the brakes to enforce the speed restriction. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the loss of the window glazing that resulted in the fatal ejection of four passengers from the train.

Accident Location: Bronx , NY    
Accident Date: 12/1/2013
Accident ID: DCA14MR002

Date Adopted: 10/24/2014
NTSB Number: RAB1412
NTIS Number: