F train derails in Brooklyn in second subway incident within a week

Photo Jan 10 2024, 1 38 51 PM
An F train derailed near the Neptune Avenue station in Coney Island on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2023.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A subway train derailed in Brooklyn Wednesday afternoon, less than a week after two trains collided and derailed on the Upper West Side.

The incident occurred just before 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, when a Manhattan-bound F train came off the rails at low speed near the Neptune Avenue station in Coney Island.

A Fire Department spokesperson said that a wheel on the train’s fourth car came off the tracks on the elevated stretch of subway track. No one was injured in the incident, but 37 people, including passengers and workers, had to be evacuated via rescue cars at the front and back of the derailed train, said MTA subway and bus chief Rich Davey.

Emergency personnel respond to an F train derailment in Coney Island on Jan. 10, 2023.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

It’s not yet clear how the F train came to derail, though Davey said the incident appeared to be a “track issue” causing the train wheel coming off the railbed.

“We’ll get to the bottom of this. I realize that we had issues, obviously, last week as well,” said Davey. “And we’ll get to the bottom of whatever this is.”

One rider told amNewYork Metro that she felt the train “jerk” before coming to a halt.

“The train jolted. It jerked and stopped,” said Elisa Gails, who was on the first car of the F train. “One was saying, ‘I hope the train doesn’t derail.'”

MTA New York City Transit president Rich Davey.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

F trains are running with severe delays and disruptions as a result of the incident, according to the MTA. As of 1:13 p.m., F train service was suspended between Kings Highway and Coney Island, and all trains running between Kings Highway and Church Avenue were operating on “extremely limited” service as crews assisted passengers on the derailed train, the agency posted on X.

For service to and from Coney Island, the MTA recommends taking the D, N, or Q trains.

Davey said that service on the F in southern Brooklyn would likely not be restored until the morning rush hour on Thursday. The MTA is bringing in a “pretty large crane” to remove the wayward train, he said.

Crews work on F train after it derailed in Brooklyn
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

The incident is the second subway derailment in less than a week, after two No. 1 trains collided and derailed near the 96th Street station on the Upper West Side on Jan. 4.

Officials say that one of the trains had its emergency brakes vandalized and was taken out of service, and then proceeded against a red signal as another train with passengers aboard switched from express to local tracks.

Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

As a result, 26 people suffered minor injuries.

Service was suspended on the 1, 2, and 3 lines in Manhattan for two days as a result of the derailment. Davey said the operation to remove the F train will not be “nearly as complicated” since it took place on above-ground tracks.

Unlike the 1 train last week, the F train involved in Wednesday’s derailment is of a newer model and carries an “event recorder,” similar to a black box on an airplane, which will provide more information on how the derailment came to take place.

Photo by Lloyd Mitchell
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Despite the quick succession, subway derailments are quite rare in New York. Prior to last Thursday, the last time a subway train derailed was in 2020, when an A train came off the rails after a scofflaw tossed debris onto the subway tracks.

The NTSB is still investigating last week’s derailment. Davey said riders should still feel safe riding the subway.

“Derailments do happen, they shouldn’t, but they do from time to time,” said Davey. “We’ll take a look to see what the issue was here, but customers should feel take the service. As I said, I will be tonight.”

This is a developing story, check back later for updates.