2005_09_malbone.jpgYesterday afternoon, the Franklin Avenue shuttle derailed at Flatbush Avenue and Empire Boulevard, knocking some passengers out of their seats. Riders escaped serious injury but had to be evacuated as authorities investigated the trains. One early hypothesis is that signal problems caused the derailment - damn those signals! The Franklin Avenue shuttle is only two cars long and is conductorless, leading the NYC Transit to try to reassure people by saying, "All these shuttles are conductorless. These trains are no less safe than any other."

The Post pointed out that the incident "occurred almost exactly" where the Malbone Street Wreck took place: On November 1, 1918, a subway train car went too fast, derailing the first car and causing the second and third cars to go entirely off the track, killing 93 passengers. Considered the city's most tragic subway accident with a number of factors to blame, there's a book about it: The Malbone Street Wreck by Brian Cudahy.