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Scene of NY derailment that took four lives is a disgraceful mess six months later

on 18 Comments

I took the video above Saturday afternoon. It’s of the scene of the Metro North derailment that took four lives early on the morning of December 1, 2013. At 10 seconds in, you can see the brush in which the train’s first four cars derailed (scheme below). At 20 seconds you can see the river. Do you notice all the garbage in the crash site? The heaped railroad ties, the downed trees and wreckage? Four people died there. One victim was a friend of mine. Dozens of others were seriously injured. I ride this train all the time, and every time we pass this mess I think it’s a disgrace. I can’t imagine how the families feel. Metro North should clean it up.

Wikipedia map of Metro North derailment, Dec. 1. Train station is at lower right corner

Wikipedia map of Metro North derailment, Dec. 1. Train station is at lower right corner

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18 Responses

  1. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer on May 26, 2014, 12:42 pm

    That’s truly sad.

    I can understand that winter interfered with the cleanup (not really, just a benefit of the doubt thing) it’s now well into spring. What a sad and cruel reminder to everyone. Budgets may be tight but they can’t be that tight.

    My condolences on your loss.

  2. just
    just on May 26, 2014, 12:49 pm

    I am sorry for your loss, Phil. It is disgraceful, indeed. I’ve traveled on Metro North and Amtrak countless times– looking out the windows is always depressing and disgraceful b/c of the trash, neglect, disrepair and destruction of the landscape.

    The scene is much different in Europe and Japan– @ least in my experience. I suppose it is because those folks actually value train travel and their investment in same.

  3. Krauss
    Krauss on May 26, 2014, 1:05 pm

    This is a microcosm of the complete and abject failure to fund infrastructure suffienctly across the nation. The American engineering society has said that there are hundreds of bridges across the nation that could collapse any moment since they are in such a bad shape.

    This is supposed to be the richest country on Earth. The American middle class is not even the richest in the world anymore. All the money goes to the top 1%.

    The result is that we can’t even fund basic stuff anymore. It’s really quite sad.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer on May 26, 2014, 7:29 pm

      “The result is that we can’t even fund basic stuff anymore. It’s really quite sad.

      Even worse, you/we are told we need to make do with less. Some say it’s a race to the bottom. I say it’s a race to dig the hole deeper.

  4. tokyobk
    tokyobk on May 26, 2014, 1:55 pm

    Sadly, very sadly to me at least, coming back to the US from Japan is, regarding almost any type of technological convenience or infrastructure – especially public, effectively getting into a time machine going backwards.

    After Fukushima there were before and one week after pictures circulating the net in disbelief about the speed of clean up and rebuilding.

    Metro North between NYC and NY is slower now than it was in the early 20th century (there were less stops then but still) which I remember was one of Ned Lamont’s promises in his short CT gubernatorial campaign – to improve the trains at least to the standard of the 1930’s.

    And btw (perhaps just my own series of unlucky trips where I have been delayed even an hour) the lateness of one such trip between those cities often more than the average deviation for all of the trains in Japan including earthquakes and typhoon, a number of less than 15 minutes if you can believe it.

    Disasters and accidents happen everywhere but I agree with your implication that this is a symbol of a larger problem.

  5. American
    American on May 26, 2014, 3:09 pm

    House Approves Another $600 Million in Israel Military Aid

    New Subsidies Are Part of ‘Qualitative Military Edge’ Move

    by Jason Ditz, May 25, 2014

    In addition to the billions in annual military aid the US already throws at Israel as a matter of course, the House of Representatives has added another $600 million in the pot, this time for missile defense subsidies.

    The amount approved by Congress is over double the $270 million sought by the Missile Defense Agency for funding to Israel, and is in keeping with long-standing Congressional efforts to paint themselves as pro-Israel by giving them ridiculous amounts of money”

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka on May 26, 2014, 4:58 pm

      Yup. Billions and billions sucked out of the pockets of US taxpayers to be given to ingrate aliens and not for American families and infrastructure.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on May 27, 2014, 9:01 am

        In the last decade the US has fallen from 7th to 18th place on the quality of our roads:

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka on May 27, 2014, 11:23 am

        Yup. And we could afford about 500 to 1,000 road lane-miles per year with the money extorted from the US taxpayers and given to the ingrates occupying Palestine. Those who support this giveaway to Israel are the enemies of the American people.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on May 28, 2014, 9:06 am

        @ Woody T
        Everytime the politicians try to deflect aid to Israel issue by saying US foreign aid in total reflects only 1% of the federal budget. They never tell us that Israel gets 20% of total aid US gives to the world, even though it’s the size of NJ and is an economic powerhouse itself, with its debt underwritten by the US so it has really good credit.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on May 27, 2014, 9:25 am

      We arm much of the ME, selling to the Arab oil world with one hand, giving higher quality arms to Israel. Israel’s position is always that our Arab friends may turn on Israel tomorrow. Wikileaks outed the pattern:

  6. mondonut
    mondonut on May 26, 2014, 4:30 pm

    Of course.

    Phillip could have posted a box full of puppies and someone would have found the anti-Israel slant.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka on May 26, 2014, 4:58 pm

      LMAO. If Phil posted a box full of puppies no doubt you or one of your Zionist buddies would find some hidden “anti-semitic” message in it.

      • mondonut
        mondonut on May 26, 2014, 6:08 pm

        Feel free to point out that comment regarding this story.

    • annie
      annie on May 26, 2014, 5:05 pm

      actually nut, at the time of your comment nobody had made any kind of israel slant on the story. american just used this thread to dump some important information in it.

      why don’t you tell us why you thought the article about US taxpayers dumping another $600 Million in Israel Military Aid gave phil’s article a “slant”. or were you and woody just thinking along the same lines (“and not for American families and infrastructure. “) ? maybe your comment inspired him.

      • jon s
        jon s on May 27, 2014, 1:02 am

        American was the first to mention Israel on this thread, implying a connection between military aid to Israel and the deterioration of infrastructure in the US.

        It should be pointed out that a large part of military aid to Israel reverts to American corporations in the defense industry.

  7. CitizenC
    CitizenC on May 26, 2014, 6:02 pm

    I’ve also taken that train, since the crash, and thought about it. Very sorry about your friend Phil.

    At the time I googled a bit and found a wealth of info on Metro North safety, which had been going downhill for a while, with several accidents and official investigations and reports.

    Beneath the talk of “failed safety culture” and worker-bashing you can discern neoliberal economics. The engineers were earning enough to stay awake; the typical engineer’s wage was over $100K, thanks to unionized labor. The info I found did not say, but I suspect that the wages included a fair amount of overtime.

    Also, Metro North had been hit with a wave of retirements since 2011, 30 yrs after it was spun off from Conrail, itself the patchwork of the former railroad lines. Salaries had not been keeping pace and there was nothing to induce experienced personnel to stay on once they could retire.

    As several have pointed out, this is part of the disastrous state of US infrastructure esp of public services and investment. Commuter rail has to be subsidized, because it doesn’t pay its direct costs, apart from its benefits (and indirect costs of automotive transport). In rail’s heyday commuter lines were subsidized by long distance passenger service. Congress let Conrail out of the commuter business for that reason in 1981, leaving it to the hard-pressed states and whatever federal policy allows (after trillions are spent fighting wars)

  8. goldmarx
    goldmarx on May 27, 2014, 12:41 am

    What does the MetroNorth disaster have to do with the Middle East?

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