October 7, 2015

Keep train safety system on deadline

Mass transit car_Fotor

When a passenger boards a Metro-North train, there is every expectation to arrive at the destination safely. Yet Congress is considering easing a year-end deadline for railroads to install a technology — called Positive Train Control — that will prevent accidents like those due to speed on curves. Some of the nation’s railroads, including Metro-North, say they cannot [...]

Metro North train smashes into SUV, killing six

As the investigation into the deadliest accident in the history of the Metro-North Railroad got underway on Wednesday, officials said they still could not explain how or why a sport-utility vehicle became stranded on the train tracks. A crowded commuter train traveling north through Westchester County slammed into the S.U.V. on Tuesday (Feb. 3) night, [...]

NJ Transit conductors get customer service refresher

NJ Transit train conductors with a history of being less than courteous to riders will soon receive retraining. Starting early next year, some front-line rail workers will have to take a crash course to bolster their people skills. “It’s a program that is going to help employees understand their roles as it relates to providing [...]

NTSB cites sleep apnea in 2013 Metro-North crash

The National Transportation Safety Board said Oct. 28 that the December 2013 Metro-North train derailment that killed four and injured 61 occurred when the train engineer had fallen asleep. The train rounded a curve at 82 mph, well above the 30-mph speed restriction. The NTSB report determined that the operator had “an undiagnosed severe obstructive [...]

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


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 [...]