Friday, July 29, 2011
Westport Officials Meet With Metro-North
UPDATE Westport officials today met for an hour with representatives of Metro-North about the July 22 stalled train incident that left several hundred persons in a New Haven-bound train for up to an hour in 100-degree heat near the Greens Farms station.
“Today’s meeting was highly productive,” First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said in a statement about the meeting at Westport Police Headquarters.
“We identified a number of areas where we believe we can improve communication with Metro-North on such emergencies.” He did not go into details.
Following the incident, the Westport Fire Department said there were communication issues with Metro-North about the location of the train and delayed notifications. Metro-North has said prompt notifications were made to the Westport Police Department about the train.
A Metro-North statement echoed Joseloff’s remarks that the review was useful.
“The extreme temperature and its impact on the century-old catenary system combined to create an extraordinarily difficult situation for our customers and the people responding to events on the New Haven Line last Friday,” the railroad said.
“Metro-North Railroad is conducting a review of the circumstances surrounding the multiple incidents that occurred. We also are working with local emergency responders; their input is important to ensure as complete a review as possible.
“Today’s meeting was a productive step in this process and we will share the results of our inquiry when its complete.”
In his statement, Joseloff said: “We are grateful for Metro-North’s willingness to share with us very quickly from their perspective what happened. I think it was helpful for them to learn what happened from our perspective.”
“For years we have had excellent communications with Metro-North on emergency responses and that is why when issues arose this time we wanted to quickly address them.
“The train-riding public will benefit from this review and I believe so will other emergency responders who interact with Metro-North on emergencies.”
Joseloff spoke briefly with reporters outside Westport Police Headquarters after the meeting as did state Sen. Toni Boucher and Jim Cameron, head of the Commuter Rail Council, who observed the meeting.
They also said the meeting was productive in identifying areas of improvement but would not go into details.
Cameron said it was likely the Commuter Rail Council will meet with Metro-North officials and emergency responders to also review the incident.
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Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport