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Valhalla Collision Is Latest In Series Of Metro-North Accidents

Four people were killed when a Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx near the Spuyten Duyvil station in December 2013.
Four people were killed when a Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx near the Spuyten Duyvil station in December 2013. Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – The accident Tuesday evening that killed six people near the station in Valhalla is the latest in a series of accidents that have plagued Metro-North trains over the past couple of years.

The latest accident at the crossing in Valhalla is the deadliest in Metro-North’s history.

About 70 people were injured in May 2013 when a Metro-North train derailed and clipped another train near the Bridgeport-Fairfield border in Connecticut. An investigation concluded that a broken joint holding two pieces of track together was to blame for the derailment. On Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board also announced that it believes the bolts on Metro-North’s new M-8 cars are too weak and should be replaced. The NTSB said that although the weak bolts did not cause the accident, they did contribute to the severity of the incident.

Four people were killed and 63 were injured in December 2013 when a train derailed in the Bronx near the Spuyten Duyvil station. In that case, the engineer of the train had fallen asleep while driving due to a sleep apnea condition , causing the train to pick up speed and go off the rails on a curve.

The Bridgeport and Bronx incidents sparked outrage from lawmakers and other officials , who called on Metro-North to step up its safety practices. The NTSB said that positive train control technology could have prevented the Bronx derailment by reducing the speed of the train.

In January 2013, a snapped catenary line caused a power outage that halted a train between the Greens Farms and Westport stations in Connecticut. About 200 passengers were stranded in the extreme cold and had to be rescued via a side-by-side evacuation. The very next day, the headaches continued as thousands of customers were stuck in stations and on board trains for hours after a power outage shut down service on the New Haven, Hudson and Harlem lines.

Just last week, a train to Wassaic jumped off the tracks at it was leaving Grand Central Terminal. Nobody was injured in the incident, but the accident caused delays along all Metro-North lines.

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