Posted by Ron Bouwhuis on January 22, 2013 
A terrible scene. Hopefully there were no fatalities. Amazing, nonetheless, that the wreckage came to rest adjacent to that Pawnbrokers poster. In the absence of a crowd it illustrates what we're thinking.
Posted by James Belmont on January 22, 2013 
At least two people are believed dead after a Long Island Rail Road equipment train struck a vehicle on the tracks near Brentwood station Tuesday morning, officials said. The crash sparked a fire and caused the suspension of service on the Ronkonkoma Branch between Ronkonkoma and Farmingdale.
Posted by Robert Pisani on January 22, 2013 
Very timely photo. Not to make light of a serious incident (local news is reporting 2 killed in this train vs. vehicle accident) but the image on the platform advertisement seems a bit too appropriate.
Posted by snunez on January 22, 2013 
So sad...Thanks for the explanation to this photograph.
Posted by on January 22, 2013 
Television news reported the train struck the car at 80 mph and it took a half mile to come to a complete stop. The two occupants of the automobile were killed, but engineer managed to evacuate his cab in time. The ends of a LIRR, Budd-built M-1 multiple unit electric car, are fiberglass over a stainless steel structure, and the fiberglass portion, and the motor vehicle, were consumed by the fire.
Posted by Rich Brown on January 22, 2013 
The ONLY good news here, according to CBS News, NY is that the crew are OK, and the train was an "equipment move" with NO passengers. While the loss of 2 peoples lives is regrettable, this COULD easily have been MUCH WORSE. Also luckily, there were no passengers waiting on the platform.
Posted by Jack Wayne on January 22, 2013 
Although it didn't end as badly, this reminds me of a scene driving my son to nursery school in 1997 when we lived in Flowery Branch, GA where the NS Atlanta/NYC mainline is double tracked. We would always turn south away from the railroad but we'd see the tracks north through town. Some unwise man decided to gun his car through the crossing after a slow moving northbound intermodal finally passed him, only to get struck by the southbound intermodal he couldn't see on the second track. My son and I came to our turn and I saw the two unit trains stopping a few blocks north of us with a car in flames at one of the crossings. I knew what had happened, and was sure someone was gone. My then four year old son said, "Wow, look at that fire". Not wanting to trouble him I said, "Yes, it's big." And we turned away and I changed the subject. Turns out the driver, after getting hit, staggered out of his car, walked several paces away and collapsed at a safe distance right before his car exploded in flames. He was blessed to only have minor injuries. Wish that could have happened here.
Posted by Boydriver on January 22, 2013 
A horrifying scene, but a truly amazing capture; glad the train driver is ok after this mess. As a driver as well as a volunteer firefighter, this scene even left me gobsmacked.
Posted by FSWood on January 22, 2013 
I knew it, I knew it, I knew it, another person who is so special the crossing gates don't apply to them. "New York Daily News ‎- 7 hours ago Two people died after they drove their car around a railroad crossing gate ..."
Posted by Ellis Simon on January 22, 2013 
It's a good photo, Very newsy, but we could have done without this. The scene is too gruesome.
Posted by by Donald McGowan on January 23, 2013 
I saw on the news last night, a witness on a bicycle said the gates were down, the driver drove around them while talking on a cell phone. He looked in the direction where the train was not coming. I feel very sorry for his girlfriend's family.
Posted by Wang Halen on January 23, 2013 
This photo more than belongs on RP. It SHOULD BE HERE. It's a reminder to any idiot who thinks they can beat the train.
Posted by Gabriel Mihacevich on January 23, 2013 
I couldn't agree more. This should be here. True, it is a horrifiying shot but it serves as a testiment to the power of trains and the possible consequences of being absent minded around them.
Posted by on January 24, 2013 
Was it impossible to back the train up a bit to remove it from the fire? Is there equipment damage here that is unnecessary? Or was propulsion somehow disabled?
Posted by Rich Brown on January 24, 2013 
I am only "somewhat familiar" with Long Island's third-rail electical power system, but I would think that the the third rail would have been impacted and shorted-out at the time of initial collision. It would seem this "short" would in turn have tripped something similar to a circuit breaker, resulting in the electical power being shut off in that "block" or circuit segment, thus making it impossible to move the train without summoning "helper power" from some other location. While, I believe, LIRR plans for that eventuality it would still take quite some time. I belive there is also some DOT / FRA rule which requires a train to remain at the site of an accident until a certain level of investigation is completed. If anyone out there has more concise information about this, please comment on or correct what I have said here.
Posted by sirmartinfrobisher on January 29, 2013 
Do they just use normal GRP for construction of these trains? We normally use very low flammability phenolic resins the Arlanda trains in Sweden were constructed using this.
Posted by Dana M. on February 16, 2014 
To respond to the questions posted on January 24th by a person who didn't leave a name. Q.) Was it impossible to back the train up a bit to remove it from the fire? A.) YES, because at the point of impact with the vehicle it was stuck to the front coupler and being dragged when it erupted into flames. As any engineer will tell you when fire is involved, you exit the cab to save yourself and any passengers whenever possible and don't worry about saving equipment which can be rebuilt! Q.) Is there any equipment damage here that is unnecessary? A.) YES, the driver of the car didn't have to be in such a damned hurry to drive around the gates and into the path of this commuter train. It resulted in a loss of the lives of the occupants of the car to unnecessarily damage a perfectly good automobile and the train from the impact and resulting fire! Q.) Or was the propulsion somehow disabled? A.) YES, because the commuter train engineer immediately threw the train into emergency instantly locking up the train's brakes and dumping the air pressure in the brake line. Therefore to move the train it would require time to re-pressurize the brake line to release them to be able to move the train. Time was not available due to the fire. Also at the outbreak of the resulting fire the engineer was in "SAVE YOUR ASS!" mode (pardon the language) and doing everything possible to get off that train and away from becoming a fatality himself by being burned to death. With no operator at the controls all propulsion of that commuter train was disabled. So there are the answers to your questions. Also as with ANY accident scene it is required by law that the vehicles involved NOT be moved (if it is not necessary to do so) because an investigation is required and the investigating officials need all vehicles in the positions they came to rest post accident otherwise anything moved is considered "Tampering with evidence!" and could result in an investigation being botched and any outcome impossible or difficult to determine. Also it could result in prison time for those involved with moving any items.
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