Cuomo Says Human Error, Not Mechanical Failure, Caused Train Derailment
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that based on the findings of the National Transportation Safety Board, it would appear as though human error and not mechanical failure was responsible for the derailment of the Metro-North train that killed four people and injured dozens on Sunday.
"It looks like the cause was going to be excessive speed by the operator," Cuomo said on New York public radio's 'Capitol Pressroom' show. "The theories of track failure or equipment failure seem to have been proven incorrect and it will be operator error -- it appears. I don't want to prejudge."
He added that he is looking into positive train control systems -- an electronic system that would allow officials to remotely monitor and control train speeds.
"Those are systems that are being developed, they are systems that are somewhat controversial -- some people say they're not everything they're cracked up to be," Cuomo said. "Those look like the way of the future. I dont want to get out ahead of the NTSB, but that's what we're working toward. What are the best systems that can be installed? How quickly?"
He added that part of the NTSB's investigation will be to examine the previous incidents of Metro-North to see if they are connected in anyway.
William Rockefeller, the train's engineer and a 20-year Metro-North veteran, was suspended from work on Sunday soon after his train derailed, Marjorie Anders, a spokeswoman for Metro-North confirmed. Rockefeller was "dazed" right before the train derailed, suffering from what his lawyer has called "highway hypnosis," according to the New York Times.
The railroad confirmed that the Hudson Line will resume full service on Thursday after the reconstruction of a second track in the area of Sunday's derailment.