Northern Suburbs News

Metro-North train seen moving with door open

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The MTA inspected all of its trains before Tuesday night's commute.

This after they were asked questions by Eyewitness News about why a Metro-North train roared down the tracks for miles with a door open.

Passengers were seen casually standing nearby the open door on video tape.

It begins at 125th Street.

A crowded Metro-North train bound for Grand Central was barreling down the track with one of its doors wide open.

Within a few seconds, the train on an elevated track hit top speed, and there was no alarm, no buzzer, and the door stayed wide open.

"I usually stand by the doors too, so that was horrifying to see that," said Steve Prestegaard, a commuter.

The video was posted on YouTube and has been linked to several blogs.

Jim Cameron is head of the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council.

"It's technologically impossible for that train to operate if they think the door is open, so there may have been a fault with the electronics," Cameron said.

The train is part of the New Haven Line, which has the oldest cars in the fleet.

Problems with the doors are common, usually only one opens.

"These cars are 35 years old, they were expected to last 25 years, they should have been replaced 10, 15 years ago, so yeah, we have problems with these cars on a regular basis," Cameron said.

Commuters have been promised new trains for years.

Ironically, videos of gleaming M8 cars being test run can also be found on YouTube.

But, there have been glitches and delays.

As for this incident, the MTA calls it "concerning" adding: "The footage in this video is very concerning to us and Metro-North is investigating this door malfunction. A door opening enroute is an extremely unusual occurrence. Metro-North is in the process of inspecting all train doors and all doors will be retested before the initial run of the day.

If a passenger notices a door open, they should immediately move away from the door and notify a conductor, who can manually close and lock the door shut. As a precaution, passengers should heed the signs on all doors that say: "Do not lean on doors." Conductors will be making announcements to remind customers not to lean on doors.

Metro-North identified the car yesterday and it has been impounded for investigation and repair."

As shocking as the video is, almost as surprising is the reaction, or complete lack of one from riders.

Some continued to stand inches away despite the obvious danger.

Finally in the tunnel, and approaching Grand Central, the door began to close on its own.

A passenger nudged it shut.

"Nobody seemed to be trying to do something to alert a conductor to a very dangerous situation, there was a guy standing there, literally three feet away from being killed," Cameron said.

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Tags:
grand central, new york city, connecticut, metro north, mta, northern suburbs news, marcus solis
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