Home Fairfield NTSB releases likely causes of five Metro-North incidents

NTSB releases likely causes of five Metro-North incidents

The National Transportation Safety Board released five reports detailing the probable causes of the major Metro-North Railroad incidents between May 2013 and May 2014 at a press conference in Grand Central Terminal on Tuesday morning.

U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both Connecticut Democrats, as well as Congressman Jim Himes, D-Greenwich, and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch met to discuss the NTSB report Tuesday afternoon in the Bridgeport Metro-North station lobby at 525 Water St.

The common themes in the reports showed that equipment were in disrepair, a safety agency was in a sleep-like daze and inspections were missed. Reports are available on the five major Metro-North incidents, including the Bridgeport derailment that injured more than 50 people on May 17, 2013; the death of track foreman Robert Luden near the West Haven rail station on May 28, 2013; the derailment of a freight train in the Bronx on July 18, 2013; the derailment at Spuyten Duyvil that killed four and injured 63 on Dec. 1, 2013; and the death of Metro-North electrician James Romansoff, who was working on an elevated track in Harlem on March 10.

“The report is a powerful indictment of the FRA’s (Federal Railroad Administration) lack of oversight and the safety failures at MTA and Metro-North,” Blumenthal said in a written statement. He added that the FRA has “failed to implement 63 NTSB safety recommendations.”

Blumenthal and other lawmakers introduced legislation to overhaul rail safety laws and protocols as well as enforce safety and reliability of the Metro-North. The bill aims to restore oversight, scrutiny, trust and confidence in public transportation.

“This bill lays the groundwork for life-saving investments in important technology like Positive Train Control and other upgrades that are proven to save lives and enhance service,” Blumenthal said.

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