G subway service restored after Brooklyn derailment

Saturday, September 12, 2015
G train service restored after derailment
N.J. Burkett has an update on the subway derailment in Brooklyn that disrupted service on the G line.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (WABC) -- Service on the G subway line has been restored after Thursday night's derailment in Brooklyn, according to the MTA.

Temporary repairs are complete so full service on the G train is back to normal.

Crews worked throughout the morning and afternoon to remove debris and make necessary repairs and inspections at the site.

Work crews will have to return to the site as part of the ongoing investigation and to make permanent repairs which will impact service on the line in the future.

Service had been limited Friday following the minor derailment Thursday night, just north of the Hoyt Street Station in Downtown Brooklyn.

At 10:35 p.m, the front axle of the head car of a Church Avenue-bound G train derailed 700 feet north of the Hoyt-Schermerhorn Streets station. About 80 customers were walked through the 4-car train and the tunnel to the station. According to the New York City Fire Department, one customer complained of dizziness and two others were evaluated for minor injuries.

Concrete debris fell to the track and caused the first axle of the train to derail. The bench wall contains ducts for power and communications cables and also serves as a maintenance and emergency walkway.

Crews re-railed and removed the train from the site at approximately 2 a.m. Crews then focused on the removal of debris and secured what remains of the bench wall at that location.

Investigators say the train's lead car struck a cement access ledge that runs the length of the tunnel after it had partially collapsed into the path of the train.

A preliminary report obtained by Eyewitness News indicates the cause was an ongoing problem, "...pre-existing water intrusion, as well as the failure of several stabilizer brackets that had been previously installed."

"Water damage from water main breaks, the pile driving from new construction, it takes a toll on a 90-100 year old subway," said Paul Navarro, Track Division Chairman of the Transport Workers Union.

But Eyewitness News has learned that at least 8 G trains have damage consistent with grazing the ledge. Why that damage was not uncovered until Friday, and why the crumbling ledge was not discovered and repaired before it collapsed and caused the derailment, are among a number of unanswered questions.

The chairman of the MTA is calling the city out for its lack of funding.

"I am tired of writing letters to city officials that result only in vague calls for more conversations. The sooner we can end these games we can get to work on rebuilding our transit network," said Thomas Prendergast in a statement.

Workers said the elevated walkway workers use in the tunnel appears to have been leaning into the track area. Several passing trains may have hit it before the derailed train, based on damage to some other trains.

The train appears to have taken out a 70-foot section of the bench wall. The walkway houses cables, and workers also use it to walk in the tunnel.

The cause of the derailment is under investigation.