Broken rail not cause of May subway derailment: report

Photo: MTA / Patrick Cashin

The May subway derailment in Woodside, which injured 19 people and forced about 1,000 straphangers to evacuate, was not caused by the broken rail initially discovered by the MTA, according to a published report.

Although a preliminary investigation found that the rail had broken under the Brooklyn-bound F train, investigators are now suspecting that the derailment occurred from a sequence and combination of “other relatively minor substandard site and track-equipment conditions,” according to the New York Daily News.

Sources told the Daily News that investigators were looking at items such as rail fasteners, rail ties and plates.

The F train was on the express track when the six center cars of the eight-car train derailed, officials said. Of those 19 injured, 15 suffered minor injuries and four were taken to the hospital with potentially serious injuries.

According to published reports, the rail section was made by a longtime supplier for the MTA, and was installed after a “hairline crack” was found at the derailment location.

Rail manufactured from the same batch has been installed at other locations, and the transit agency is trying to figure out where those rail sections are and their condition, reports said.

In a May release, the MTA emphasized its safety record, as well as track and other maintenance efforts, and said the city’s subway system has experienced only 17 mainline derailments in the last decade.