Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today received a report from MTA Metro-North Railroad President Howard Permut on recent infrastructure, technology and improved safety actions on the system, Malloy’s office announced.
The report was issued in response to a Dec. 3 letter that Malloy sent to the MTA requesting a full accounting of improved safety actions taken following a series of incidents in 2013, including two passenger train derailments in Connecticut and New York, one of them fatal, and the death of a track worker in West Haven.
After reviewing the report, Malloy said, “I want to thank the MTA and Metro-North Railroad for their response to our request. Our mutual goal is the same -– a ‘best in class’ railroad with a commitment to a culture of safety, and I believe we are making strides toward that goal.
“I am anxious to return to normal service for the thousands of commuters that use this service on a daily basis, and hope the MTA will beat their April deadline.”
Malloy’s office said the report provides details on each of the actions and also commits MTA/Metro-North to ongoing monthly reporting on track, signal, equipment and other inspections along with reports on the safety condition of the system.
These include track maintenance and inspection programs and procedures; new train dispatching and employee protection protocols; speed enforcement technology and practices; track and safety departments’ organizational capabilities and structure, and programs and training related to overall safety and the safety culture at Metro-North.
In addition, it promises a return by April if not sooner to the regular weekday train schedule that was in effect before the May 17 derailment and collision of two trains at the Bridgeport/Fairfield border on the New Haven Line.
Since that derailment, “slow orders” have been imposed, reducing train speeds and adding minutes to virtually every train schedule, Malloy’s office said.
Along with the Metro-North’s own review, the U.S. Department of Transportation has sent in a team to examine internal Metro-North operations, maintenance and policies, and will likely make additional recommendations.
DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said he was satisfied with the MTA report and the actions taken to date by the railroad, but encouraged Metro-North to implement schedule improvements as soon as possible.
The New Haven Line, with more than 125,000 passenger trips every weekday, is the busiest line in America. It is operated by Metro-North under a contract with the DOT, which owns the line and its three branches.
Posted 12/17/13 at 08:34 PM Permalink