September 22, 2008
Look at what's awaiting you—
18 job opportunities and 21 business opportunities.
All in this week's Passenger Transport.
Metrolink commuter rail in southern California resumed full service four days after a Sept. 12 crash in Chatsworth, 25 miles northwest of Los Angeles, that killed 25 people and injured 135. The accident occurred when a Metrolink train collided with a Union Pacific freight train along the stretch of shared track.
According to investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Metrolink engineer went through a signal that should have warned him to stop. An NTSB accident re-enactment test showed that the engineer of the Union Pacific train had only four seconds to react before seeing the oncoming Metrolink train and hit the brakes just two seconds before the point of collision.
The two trains were both traveling about 40 miles per hour along a curving section of track at the time of impact, which forced the locomotive of the Metrolink train back through the adjoining car.
As investigators continued to probe the events leading up to the crash, they planned to interview the freight train’s brakeman and conductor. The engineer, who survived the crash, was still too injured to speak with authorities at press time.
Nearly three years ago, on Jan. 26, 2005, 11 people were killed and 180 injured in a collision in Glendale, CA, involving a Metrolink train. Juan Alvarez was convicted of 11 counts of first-degree murder for causing the crash and sentenced to 11 consecutive life terms. Alvarez had said during his trial that he was trying to commit suicide when he parked his gasoline-soaked SUV on the railroad tracks; a Metrolink train struck the SUV, derailed, and struck another Metrolink train traveling in the opposite direction. The prosecutors and jury disagreed and found Alvarez guilty.