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Accident Report Detail

Rear-end collision of two New York City Transit Authority Trains, 103rd Street Station

Executive Summary

About 5:05 a.m. eastern standard time on March 10, 1989, two New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) trains were involved in a rear-end collision. Train 3A, a revenue collector train was in the station at 103rd street station, New York City, New York. Train 428 entered the station area and collided with the standing train 3A. Train 428 had received green/clear signal indications as it approached and entered the station. Inspection of the signal system at the 103rd street station following the accident revealed that a jumper wire had been installed and tucked away (out of easy sight) in the circuit rack of the 204 circuit (the track circuit at which train 3A was located at the time of collision). Further inspection revealed that two track wires were broken in the 204 track circuit, eliminating the connection between the relay and the negative rail and the transformer and the negative rail. Three crewmembers and 38 passengers were injured as a result of the accident. The estimated damage as a result of this accident was $360,000.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the improper application of a jumper wire in the signal circuit. Contributing to the cause of this accident was the failure of NYCTA management to require proper repairs to the signal circuit in a timely manner. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the operation of train 428 into the 103rd Street Station at a speed in excess of the posted speed, in part, as a result of the failure of the NYCTA management to furnish a reasonable means for operators to determine speed.

Accident Location: New York , NY    
Accident Date: 3/10/1989
Accident ID: DCA89MR002

Date Adopted: 3/13/1990
NTSB Number: RAR-90-01
NTIS Number: PB90-916301

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