Safety Advisory Issued In Wake Of Deadly Train Accidents

RR crossing freight train

A new safety advisory has been issued by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in the wake of two fatal passenger train accidents. Victims of these accidents and others may be eligible for legal compensation for their injuries, medical bills and other losses.

The New York personal injury attorneys at the Sanders Firm offer free case evaluations to victims affected by train accidents who wish to explore their legal options.

Train speed a significant concern

The New York Times reports that the primary focus of the advisory is on controlling train speed. Excessive speeds were a factor in both the Amtrak crash in Philadelphia that occurred in May and a Metro-North crash that happened in the Bronx in 2013. A more recent Metro-North crash that occurred in February in Westchester was attributed to an SUV that became stuck on the tracks before it was struck by an oncoming train.

The FRA has called on railroads to identify areas of their routes that require reduced speeds of more than 20 miles per hour (mph) for safety purposes. At these locations, the FRA wants modifications of existing automatic train control technology to ensure trains comply with reduced speeds. If the railroad does not have automatic train control, the FRA is recommending a second crew member in the cab at areas of reduced speeds to ensure speed restrictions are followed.

The FRA has also advised additional signs to be posted to alert train operators of speed restrictions for trains throughout the railroad system, with special attention paid to areas with speed reductions. Sarah Feinberg, the acting administrator for the FRA, was quoted by the New York Times as expecting these changes to go into effect right away. Feinberg also noted that the agency was establishing additional guidelines for reducing distractions inside the train cab and for more training for train engineers.

Such measures will hopefully reduce the number of fatal railroad crossing accidents in New York and across the nation.

Metro-North crash kills six

The Metro-North crash that occurred February 3 was the result of an SUV becoming trapped between the tracks and the crossing gate. That fiery crash killed the driver of the SUV, as well as five passengers of the train. The car was pushed 650 feet down the track by the oncoming train, when the fuel engine caught on fire.

Some of the victims or those that lost loved ones in this train crash have since filed or are considering filing a New York train accident lawsuit, claiming the accident was a direct result of a railway crossing that was not sufficiently marked. Family of the deceased driver of the SUV announced their plans to pursue legal action in early May, by filing a notice of claim.

Amtrak crash takes lives of eight

An Amtrak train that crashed in Philadelphia in May took the lives of eight passengers. The train was reportedly traveling at more than 100 mph when it entered a sharp curved requiring a reduced speed of 50 mph. The engineer of that train, Brandon Bostian, has been tested for substance use and cell phone calling at the time of the crash, but both were negative. Bostian has stated he does not remember what happened at the time of the accident, due to a concussion he suffered when the crash occurred.

Assistance filing a New York train accident lawsuit

A passenger train crash can be a life-changing and even deadly occurrence for some victims. Legal action allows victims to pursue compensation for injuries, medical bills and other losses. The professional team at the Sanders Firm understands the complexities of personal injury law involving train accidents and will work with you to ensure you get every dollar in damages you are entitled to.

If you have been the victim of a train trash, contact the Sanders Firm at 1.800.FAIR.PLAY to learn more about pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in NY. Resources

  1. New York Times, Train Safety Changes Ordered after Amtrak and Metro North Accidents,
  2. New York Times, Investigating the Metro North Crash,
  3. Lohud, Family of Ellen Brody, Driver in Metro-North Crash, to Sue,
  4. Wall Street Journal, Amtrak Crash: Train Hit Curve going Over 100 MPH,