NEW YORK – It’s sometimes called “highway hypnosis” or “white-line fever,” and it’s familiar to anyone who has ever driven long distances along a monotonous route.

Drivers are lulled into a semitrance state and reach their destination with little or no memory of parts of the trip. But what if it happened to an engineer at the controls of a speeding passenger train?

Read the complete Associated Press story at the Times Herald-Record.

The Metro-North Railroad train that derailed on Sunday included a system designed to warn an operator of a potential accident. But such an “alerter,” which can automatically apply the brakes if an operator is unresponsive, was not in the cab where William Rockefeller apparently fell into an early-morning daze at the controls. It was at the other end of the train.

On Wednesday, three days after the Manhattan-bound Hudson line train tumbled off the rails in the Bronx, killing four people and injuring more than 70, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said that an alerter system had been installed in the locomotive pushing the train, but not in the front cab, where the engineer was positioned, properly, at the time of the crash.

 Read the complete story at The New York Times.

Investigators are looking at speed as a contributing factor to what may have caused a Grand Central-bound Metro-North train to derail while rounding a curve in the Bronx on Sunday, Dec. 1, sending train cars down a slope toward the Harlem River and throwing passengers out windows.

Four people were killed and dozens more were injured when the first four cars of the seven-car train broke away as the train was about 100 yards north of the Spuyten Duyvil station.

Read the complete story at NBC Connecticut.

What’s shaping up as a weeks-long service interruption on the Metro-North Railroad near New York shows how dependent the busiest U.S. passenger-rail corridor is on electric power and how easily a breakdown in single component can paralyze U.S. infrastructure.

“The demand for rail service in the northeast United States is increasing enormously,” said Richard Ravitch, the former New York lieutenant governor who spent four years as chairman of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs Metro-North. “We do not have the capacity that we need. We need a modern rail system that half the countries in the world have that we don’t have.

Read the complete story at Bloomberg Businessweek.

More than 60 people were injured after two Metro-North Railroad commuter trains collided during rush hour Friday evening near New York City.

An estimated 700 passengers were on board the two trains that collided just outside Bridgeport, Connecticut, according to New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. According to MTA, the crash occurred after a train that left New York’s Grand Central Station en route to Connecticut derailed and was hit head-on by another train.

 Read the complete story at The Guardian Express.