Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Bookmark and Share this page

Accident Report Detail

Derailment of New York City Transit Authority Subway Train

Executive Summary

About 4:38 a.m., on December 12, 1978, the sixth and seventh car of a New York City Transit Authority subway train designated "CC" 4:06 p.m. derailed within moments after departing 59th Street station. Twenty-two persons were injured, and property damage was estimated to be $667,500.

While the Safety Board was investigating this accident, three other trains derailed from what appeared to be similar causes. Therefore, the investigation was expanded to include all four accidents.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of each of the four accidents was a cracked wheel which had resulted from extensive overheating. Contributing to the cause of the overheating of the wheels was the partial application of a handbrake. Because of a lack of adequate inspection procedures, the New York City Transit Authority employees failed to detect the partially applied handbrake and the thermally damaged wheels before they cracked.

Accident Location: New York , NY    
Accident Date: 12/12/1978
Accident ID: 80024

Date Adopted: 8/2/1979
NTSB Number: RAR-79-08
NTIS Number: PB-299196/AS

Related Report

Related Recommendations


Related Press Releases

Related Events

Related Investigations