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Derailment: LIRR halts new switching installation at Jamaica


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Derailment: LIRR halts new switching installation at Jamaica

The Long Island Rail Road has halted installation of a new switching system at busy Jamaica station, saying misfiring of an electric charge was the root cause of the derailment that led to railroad-wide delays and a snarled evening commute.


LIRR President Helena Williams said the railroad will pay up to $20,000 to the management and engineering firm Parsons Transportation Group, based in Washington, D.C., to assure the problem does not recur.


A battery of tests run since Thursday morning's derailment showed that the eastbound train car that derailed passed over a switch as the switch was moving, Williams said. That caused the car to go off the tracks and strike another train car. No passengers were injured, but two eastbound tracks at the high-volume station were out of commission for the entire day.


Williams said workers on the tracks who were testing the new switch-controlling system unintentionally sent out the electric charge. The charge indicated to a LIRR employee in one of the towers near the Jamaica station that it was safe to pull a lever that moved the switch.


Full story: newsday_logo.gif icon_offsite.png - April 3, 2008

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