Changes, Improvements Announced for Metro-North

Dec 9, 2013

Metro-North announced immediate improvements to address safety concerns at critical curves and moveable bridges. 

According to its website, Metro-North crews have installed new signals at the site of last week's fatal derailment on the Hudson line. The signals will warn train engineers that they need to slow down, and automatically apply the train's emergency brakes if that doesn’t happen. Last week’s accident in The Bronx killed four people and injured more than 60. 

By Tuesday morning, train crews will also begin new communication procedures to ensure that trains are traveling at safe speeds.

An emergency order was issued Friday by the Federal Railroad Administration. It requires Metro-North to have two crew members operating trains in stretches where speed limits change by 20 miles or more.

An attorney for the engineer who was operating the train that derailed told National Transportation Safety Board investigators last week that the engineer experienced a nod, or "daze," before the train jumped the tracks. The NTSB said the train was traveling at 82 miles an hour when went into a curve. That's nearly three times the 30 mph limit. Investigators found no problems with the train's brakes.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal and New York Senator Charles Schumer have also called for cameras to be installed on trains.