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Letters: Human error seems cause of derailment

First responders inspect the scene of the Long

First responders inspect the scene of the Long Island Railroad train derailment at the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn on Wednesday Jan. 4, 2017. Credit: Theodore Parisienne

Regarding “For safety, bring LIRR up to date” [Editorial, Jan. 5], the M-7 cars used by the Long Island Rail Road were designed with state-of-the-art safety systems. The braking system is designed with redundancy so that in case of a failure, the train would apply the emergency braking system.

In addition, if the train that crashed Jan. 4 in Brooklyn was approaching Atlantic Terminal at a speed that exceeds the recommendation for that section of track, the emergency braking system would apply. The M-7 is equipped with an event recorder, and the systems of the car were designed to be monitored from Central Control in Jamaica.

This derailment was caused by the front car riding up on the bumper block, causing the front truck to come off the rail. It was most probably human error.

Robert J. Gandley, Baldwin

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired M-7 capital project manager for the Long Island Rail Road.


In light of the derailment at the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, when more than 100 people were injured, I wonder whether seat belts would have made a difference in terms of safety and injuries.

Beth Rose Feuerstein Macht, Long Beach