October 2, 2014

Power failure on aged tracks shows rail frailty

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.