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No Sign Of Brake Failure On NYC Train, Investigators Say

Photo by Mark Lennihan

Monday, as a train on an unaffected track passed by (in the background) work continued on removing the commuter cars that derailed the day before.

There is "no indication the brake systems were not functioning properly" when a New York City commuter train derailed Sunday, National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener told reporters late Tuesday afternoon.

The mishap killed four people and injured more than 60 others.

Weener, who on Monday said investigators had determined the train was traveling at 82 mph when it went off the rails -- on a curve where the speed limit was 30 mph -- released some other information Tuesday about the investigation so far:

-- Tests of both the engineer and conductor indicate alcohol was not involved. The results of drug tests have not come in yet.

-- The engineer was a 15-year veteran and had regularly been at the controls for two round-trips a day on the route from Poughkeepsie to New York City and back.

-- Tests of the brakes before the train departed for New York City found "no anomalies."

Investigators have not determined if human error, mechanical failure or some combination of the two caused the derailment.

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