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Accident Report Detail

Derailment of New York City Transit Authority Subway Train in the Joralemon Street Tunnel

Executive Summary

About 5:27 p.m. on March 17, 1984, a 10-car subway train operated by the New York City Transit Authority derailed in the Joralemon Street tunnel under the East River about 1,900 feet south of the Bowling Green Station in New York, New York. The train, which was loaded to virtual capacity with about 1,500 passengers, was exceeding the 10-mph speed restriction established because the track section was under repair. The derailment did not result in serious injuries to the passengers or significant damage to the equipment. After extensive delay, the passengers detrained and walked about 700 feet to an emergency exit, where they climbed a staircase from the tunnel to the street. A second train stalled in the tunnel just south of the Bowling Green Station when the derailment interrupted traction power to the train. Passengers from this train were evacuated onto the station platform through another train which was positioned for this purpose.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the New York City Transit Authority's failure to require the contractor making the repairs to shore up the skeletonized track in conformity with NYCTA procedures, the failure to erect slow speed signs in compliance with NYCTA policies, and the release by the contract inspector of the improperly skeletonized track to the desk trainmaster for revenue train operation.

Accident Location: New York , NY    
Accident Date: 3/17/1984
Accident ID: DCA84RM007

Date Adopted: 5/13/1985
NTSB Number: RAR-85-07
NTIS Number: PB85-916307

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