New Management, New Plan for Metro-North
Metro-North's new president, Joseph Giulietti, sent a letter to Connecticut's Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker, outlining intended operational improvements.
The plan follows a terrible year for the railroad in 2013, including a derailment and collision in Bridgeport that injured 76 people and a derailment in The Bronx, New York, in which four people were killed.
In the letter, Giulietti outlined three areas of focus:
- An establishment of a Blue Ribbon Panel on Safety headed by Metropolitan Transportation Authority President Thomas Prendergast.
- A "deep dive" review of safety, operations and training areas conducted by the Federal Railroad Administration.
- A continuing investigation conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board to determine the cause of each incident last year and provide recommendations for corrective action.
Giulietti expects the first two items to be completed soon, the NTSB investigation, however, won't be finished until the fall.
Governor Dannel Malloy released a statement saying he appreciates the plan's candid assessment, but expressing disappointment that it didn't contain more specifics about how the improvements would be implemented. "I understand the constraints that Metro-North faces because of the FRA investigation, and while the letter is certainly a roadmap to better and safer service, riders need to know that there is a plan with benchmarks and deadlines in place."
Ending his letter to Commissioner Redeker, Giulietti wrote "Just one year go, Metro-North was almost universally considered the best railroad in the United States. My goal is to restore that reputation by providing excellent service delivered on a solid foundation of safety. It's what our customers deserve. It's what this region deserves. I won't settle for less."