Gap Dangers Persist at Long Island Railroad Stations

Train Accident in Long Island

Back in 2011 we blogged about a 92 year old woman who fell in the gap at the Long Island Railroad Station in Great Neck, Long Island. At the time, we learned a scathing Newsday investigation back in 2006–spurred by the death of 18-year-old Natalie Smead at the Woodside Long Island Rail Road station–found that about 38 percent of station platforms had dangerous gaps and that LIRR, its parent agency and state and federal oversight officials had done little to address a problem that had injured hundreds of riders.

What Has Been Done to Reduce the Gaps at LIRR Train Stations

As a result of Newsday’s report, the LIRR was supposed to leave a maximum of 5 inches between the train and the station platform as part of a “gap remediation” project. Completed in 2012, the project included installing nearly 32 miles of edge boards across 126 stations and adding 2-inch threshold plates at the doors of its entire fleet of nearly 1,200 train cars and left some gaps to les s than 6 inches (close to 5, right?) While 126 of the stations did indeed have the gap reduced to these standards, sadly there are stations that have areas where gaps still exist that are far greater than 5 or 6 inches and there are still “gap injuries” occurring. According to LIRR spokeswoman Meredith Daniels, these at stations with curved tracks, including Great Neck, the gaps can still range from 10 to 13 inches “due to operational issues”.

We know what may be acceptable to the LIRR, may not work for every demographic that rides the LIRR. The gaps at some stations remain unreasonably wide for some riders, including disabled and seniors or young children.

A gap of 8, 9 or 10 inches can be very difficult for some people to overcome. What might be considered “a normal step” for more active people can almost be insurmountable for others.

How We Can Help You

If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a train or the gap at the railroad station, the experienced accident lawyers at Goldstein and Bashner will work to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation and we will fully discuss your case, answer all your questions and help guide you through the legal process. Our skilled team of investigators will work to determine the cause of the accident and who was responsible for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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