Metro North Derailment in the Bronx

After the NTSB & FRA investigated a similar accident in Boston, Amtrak took measures to ensure that a train would reduce speed entering a 30 mph curve at Back Bay Station. Cahill & Perry, PC represented a trainee engineer who was not able to decrease his speed and derailed Amtrak's Night Owl on December 12, 1990. Train #66 derailed at 76 mph as it enter the 30 mph curve in Back Bay Station. As a result, it slammed into a MBTA train from Stoughton and then came up through the pavement of the street above.

As a result of this accident, Amtrak installed advance speed warning signs where braking should have started and added circuitry to the cab signal system to show the speed restriction. The cab signal system would automatically stop trains that don't take actions to slow the train down. Although Metro North does not have Positive Train Control, it does have the same cab signal system and Spuyten Duyvil is in cab signal territory. The cab signals are normally green, yellow or red. The cab signals can indicate that the speed be reduced to 45mph, 30mph or 15mph. If an Engineer does not acknowledge the signal and reduce the speed, the system will stop the train. The cab signals can be set to drop where the speed of the train need to be significantly reduced due to the curvature of the track. This would ensure that the train would be slowed if, for any reason, the engineer is not able to properly reduce his speed. This has been done in several similar locations with sharp curves such as Back Bay Station, Elizabeth N.J., and Hartford CT.