October 23, 2014

Report finds punctuality trumps safety at Metro-North

The Metro-North Railroad has fallen prey to a “deficient safety culture” that prizes on-time performance at the expense of protecting riders and workers, according to a blistering federal review that was ordered after a spate of rail disasters. The review, from the Federal Railroad Administration, found that the commuter railroad’s operations control center pressured workers [...]

NTSB team departs Metro-North crash site

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board’s go-team will leave New York City this week after completing the necessary on-scene investigative work into the cause of the derailment of a Metro-North passenger train on Dec. 1. The NTSB will continue to gather factual information and investigators will return to New York as needed for follow-up [...]

Senators: Put cameras on train tracks, engineers

NEW YORK (AP) – A week after four people died in a New York commuter train derailment, two federal lawmakers proposed Sunday that trains nationwide be outfitted with cameras pointed at engineers and at the tracks. “I know you’re going to hear from Metro-North that there are costs, but the costs of these audio and [...]

FRA issues Emergency Order to Metro-North

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Dec. 6 issued an Emergency Order (EO 29) to Metro-North Commuter Railroad (MNCW) to take specific, immediate steps to ensure its train crews do not exceed speed limitations. The EO requires Metro-North to modify its existing signal system to ensure speed limits are obeyed [...]

‘Highway hypnosis’ could be factor in derailment

NEW YORK – It’s sometimes called “highway hypnosis” or “white-line fever,” and it’s familiar to anyone who has ever driven long distances along a monotonous route. Drivers are lulled into a semitrance state and reach their destination with little or no memory of parts of the trip. But what if it happened to an engineer [...]

Metro-North train had warning system, but not in cab

The Metro-North Railroad train that derailed on Sunday included a system designed to warn an operator of a potential accident. But such an “alerter,” which can automatically apply the brakes if an operator is unresponsive, was not in the cab where William Rockefeller apparently fell into an early-morning daze at the controls. It was at [...]

Speed eyed in Metro-North train crash

Investigators are looking at speed as a contributing factor to what may have caused a Grand Central-bound Metro-North train to derail while rounding a curve in the Bronx on Sunday, Dec. 1, sending train cars down a slope toward the Harlem River and throwing passengers out windows. Four people were killed and dozens more were [...]

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, [...]

Scores injured in Metro-North Railroad crash

More than 60 people were injured after two Metro-North Railroad commuter trains collided during rush hour Friday evening near New York City. An estimated 700 passengers were on board the two trains that collided just outside Bridgeport, Connecticut, according to New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. According to MTA, the crash occurred after a train that [...]