3 LIRR Train Accidents So Far This Year Isolated Incidents or a Pattern to Beware?

There have been three accidents thus far in 2008 at Jamaica Station, the Long Island Rail Road’s busiest station. Two of the train accidents have occurred within the last week, including one on November 23, 2008 that is being considered the worst accident in 15 years.

In that accident, an eastbound train entering Jamaica Station derailed as the eighth car passed over a switch. Three rear cars derailed, one jackknifing over three separate tracks. This accident damaged 4 of the 8 tracks at Jamaica Station. The week before, on November 19, 2 westbound trains bumped each other as they pulled out of Jamaica during the morning rush hour.

On March 27, 2008, an eastbound train derailed as it entered Jamaica Station, sideswiping another train as it jumped off the tracks. Five passengers suffered minor injuries in the November 19 accident. No passengers were injured in either the March 27 or the November 23 accidents.

The LIRR’s internal investigation of the March 27 accident found that a crew testing new signal equipment sent a stray electric charge that caused a switch to move as the train was passing over it.

The railroad’s preliminary investigation into the November 19 accident found that a train headed from Port Jefferson to Hunterspoint Avenue may have missed a stop signal, colliding with a train from Babylon, which had the right of way. The engineer of the Port Jefferson train has been suspended without pay until the LIRR’s investigation is complete. The railroad’s internal investigation into the November 23 is focusing on track conditions and train equipment. Federal Railroad Administration officials also are investigating.

The agency investigates all train accidents involving fatalities, serious injuries, extensive property damage, as well as incidents that arouse considerable public interest. Officials say the 3 accidents are unrelated, but … HELPFUL TIP: Time limitations within which claims must be filed against public entities such as the LIRR are short – a Notice of Claim must be filed within 90 days of the date of occurrence. This time moves by quicklxy so an attorney

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