NTSB report: Heat, speed caused Rye Metro-North derailment

Posted: Updated:
RYE -

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) suggests that heat and speed may have led to a train derailment that injured 14 people.

The derailment happened in May when about 185 people were heading from Stamford to Grand Central Station on a Metro-North train. Train 1372 derailed just before Rye Station.

News 12 is told that when it gets hot, tracks can expand and the temperature was in the 90s the day of the derailment. According to the report, a misalignment was noted by Metro-North personnel multiple times prior to the accident. The track was inspected several times and speed restrictions were imposed for that part of the track, dropping from normal limit of 60 miles per hour (mph) all the way down to 10.

The report says a track supervisor checked the problem again, gave the green light and left the area. The train derailed about half an hour later.

In a statement, Metro-North spokesman, Aaron Donovan said "According to the preliminary investigation, the engineer failed to properly comply with a 10  mph temporary speed restriction that was in effect for a heat-induced track alignment change. The engineer involved has been removed from service."

News 12 has also been told that Metro-North's decision to drop the speed restriction to 10 mph was an extra safety measure beyond the scope of federal guidelines. The NTSB report is expected to be finalized in the coming months.

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