Saturday, December 7, 2013


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FRA orders Metro-North to run trains with two crew members

WASHINGTON –Federal Railroad Administration order follows last weekend’s fatal derailment in the Bronx has ordered Metro-North to operate its trains with two “qualified railroad employees” in the wake of last weekend’s derailment in the Bronx that claimed four lives and injured 60 other passengers.

One engineer, William Rockefeller, was operating the train that left from Poughkeepsie on December 1. The seven-car train entered a 30 mile per hour zone doing 82 mph, resulting in the derailment.

Under the emergency order issued by FRA Administration Joseph Szabo, Metro-North must take certain actions to control passenger train speed at any location on main track where there is a reduction of more than 20 miles per hour in the maximum authorized passenger train speed.

The railroad must also create and comply with an FRA-approved action plan that institutes modifications to its existing Automatic Control System or other signal systems. Until that modifications are completed, the emergency order requires that two qualified employees be present in the control compartment when those trains operation over locations on main track where there is a required reduction of more than 20-mph in the maximum authorized passenger train speed.

MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said his agency “will continue to work with your staff to identify the most appropriate and expeditious technology and operational solutions to address the hazards revealed by the December 1 derailment.”