Metropolitan Transportation Authority says that Metro-North Railroad has completed 14 of the 27 safety measures either mandated or suggested in the Federal Railroad Administration’s review of its operations earlier this year. The railroad says it has made progress on five of the measures and has a plan for eight more.
Steps taken since last December include train speed reductions, automated track inspections and cab cameras, MTA says in a May 15 statement. MTA has begun to expedite the implementation of positive train control and Metro-North, along with Long Island Railroad, have begun the process to purchase and install inward- and outward-facing cameras to assist in incident investigations. Two-thirds of Metro-North’s railcar fleet is outfitted with “alerters” to help engineer response time while operating a train. MTA says the railroad designed and procured alerters for installation in its older railcars this year.
The commuter railroad has been under pressure to improve safety following several accidents in the last year. These include the derailment last December at its Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx that killed four and injured 50 others and another on July 18 when a CSX freight train on the railroad’s Hudson Line derailed.
The FRA conducted the 60-day safety assessment, which recommended or directed Metro-North to take action in eight categories including track safety, railroad operating rules, qualification and certification for engineers and conductors, workplace safety, train control systems, blue signal protection for employees, Operations Control Center, and track worker fatigue.
“Safety is the top priority for Metro-North Railroad, above even on-time performance,” said Metro-North Railroad President Joseph Giuletti. “For our part, we have rolled up our sleeves and gotten to work immediately to make these critical improvements a reality.”