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'89 Liberty MCI

Old NYTimes Article about the Union Square Wreck: Huge Error

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I was going through some old articles relating to the Union Square wreck of 1991, and came upon this particularly interesting and in-depth one: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE5D61138F932A3575AC0A967958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all

 

Only one problem: The article said at one point:

 

"At the first stop, Mosholu Parkway, Mr. Ray overshot the station and halted with the first five cars beyond the platform and into the tunnel, forcing passengers to scramble for doors in the rear and exposing riders in the front to gaping abysses in every doorway."

 

Since when is there a tunnel directly south of Mosholu Parkway station on route (4)? I found the article to be quite descriptive and brought me right into the experience of the terrible ordeal, but still, get your facts straight. Tunnel. South of Mosholu Parkway on route (4). Indeed.

 

Here's a second article, published later that year: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CEFDA103FF933A0575BC0A967958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all

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Good article. One other thing to point out:

 

"At the first stop, Mosholu Parkway, Mr. Ray overshot the station and halted with the first five cars beyond the platform and into the tunnel, forcing passengers to scramble for doors in the rear and exposing riders in the front to gaping abysses in every doorway."

 

The passengers wouldn't have been exposed to "gaping abysses" - if the C/R tried to open that train at all, he probably would have been fired on the spot or as soon as that fact was made known.

 

Also the article forgot to mention the tower operator's role in it. He's not supposed to switch a train without making sure the train approaches the switch at a safe speed...he didn't do so. The accident was the result of a number of people not doing things that could have prevented it from happening. The dispatcher could have declared him unfit for duty that night. He could have actually showed up sober and on time, and operated safely. The C/R could have radio'd control or tried to take the train out of service at any point along the route. And the TW/O could have made sure the train was approaching the home signal for the switch at a safe speed before setting the diverging route.

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Tower was expecting the train to come at a safe speed. And I think what might've happen too is that tower gave the T/O the signal way ahead of time and he took advantage of it and he kept going at the pace he wanted.

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Since when is there a tunnel directly south of Mosholu Parkway station on route (4)? I found the article to be quite descriptive and brought me right into the experience of the terrible ordeal, but still, get your facts straight. Tunnel. South of Mosholu Parkway on route (4). Indeed.

 

I was wondering that myself. There isn't any tunnel south of the Mosholu on the (4). I've been on that train dozens of times, and I know that it's completely elevated for its entire run north of 149th/Concourse.

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The T/O of that ill-fated (4) train was known to be sleep deprived that night yet alert enough to walk upstairs, purchase a beer or two and watch the rescue operation from Union Square before heading home.

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