NYC subway train derails in Brooklyn, the second incident within a week

January 11, 2024

Image courtesy of Marc A. Hermann / MTA on Flickr

A New York City subway train derailed in South Brooklyn on Wednesday, marking the second derailment in the system in less than a week. A Manhattan-bound F train went off the elevated tracks between Coney Island’s West 8th Street and Neptune Avenue stations just before 12: 30 p.m., according to transit officials. None of the 34 passengers or three MTA crew members on board the train sustained injuries during the event. F train service was restored with delays as of Thursday morning.

Image courtesy of Marc A. Hermann / MTA on Flickr

Passengers on board the derailed train were evacuated via two rescue trains after about an hour of waiting, according to transit officials.

During a news conference, NYC Transit President Richard Davey claimed that the derailment was likely caused by unevenness or a break in the track, but that it was too early to have a definite cause for the incident. Davey said that the tracks were last inspected in November and no problems were found at the time, according to the New York Times.

According to Davey, the train was approaching the Neptune Avenue station when its emergency brake was engaged automatically. When the train came to a stop, crew members got off to see what had happened and discovered the derailment. The transit president noted that the derailed train is a newer model that possesses monitoring equipment that could assist officials in figuring out the cause of the event.

Davey went on to say that Wednesday’s derailment in Brooklyn was unrelated to last week’s incident, in which a 1 train carrying approximately 300 commuters collided with a work train as merged onto the northbound track north of 96th Street on the Upper West Side. The collision resulted in the injuries of 24 passengers, none of which were life-threatening.

Full service was not restored to the 1 train, one of the transit system’s most-used train lines, for almost three days. While the exact cause of the collision is still uncertain, investigators have indicated human error was to blame, according to the New York Times.

Image courtesy of Marc A. Hermann / MTA on Flickr

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the collision at 96th Street, which also includes what NTSB officials say is a “look at the entire system — including how it is managed and supervised,” according to The City.

Derailment events with passengers on board are a rarity in the NYC subway system. Before last week’s incident, there had not been a derailment involving passengers since September 20, 2020, when an A train carrying 135 commuters went off the tracks at the 14th Street station on 8th Avenue, according to the New York Post. Officials claimed that the incident occurred due to debris that had been thrown onto the tracks by a rowdy transit customer.

The majority of derailments occur in train yards or involve work trains, with six derailments having occurred in 2023, seven in 2022, and 10 in 2021, according to MTA statistics.

Despite the recent uptick in derailment events, NYC transit officials insist that riders can still feel safe while traveling throughout the subway system. Andrew Albert, an MTA board member and chair of the NYC Transit Riders Council, told The City that while the most recent incidents are “not a great look” for the subway, the overall safety record throughout the system proves that the latest events were mere “flukes.”


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