Metro-North Announces New Safety Measures

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The rail line revealed new safety measures it is taking to protect its passengers. Saturday will mark one year since a train derailment in Bridgeport that injured 76 people. (Published Thursday, May 15, 2014)

    Saturday will mark one year since a train derailment in Bridgeport injured 76 people and interrupted service for days.

    That derailment was the first of several problems that led to serious safety questions for Metro-North, and on Thursday, the rail line revealed new measures it is taking to protect its passengers.

    Since early December, Metro-North says it's put in new speed reductions and it's going to add on board cameras and new equipment to make sure conductors are alert. Yet some feel Thursday's announcement is nothing new.

    "I see nothing in [Thursday's] announcement that I haven't heard for the last couple of months," said Jim Cameron, long time critic of Metro-North.

    The sweeping series of reforms is supposed to ensure the safety of passengers and employees. They were reforms identified during several major catastrophes last year including the Bridgeport derailment.

    "The report came out in March," Cameron said. "Metro North basically said then what they've repeated now."

    The report he's referring to is Operation Deep Dive. Experts from the Federal Railroad Administration conducted a 60-day assessment of the railroad after this train derailed and killed four in the Bronx.

    In that March report, Cameron said, "they've had safety stand downs, they instituted emergency secret tip line for employees to tip each other off if there's something wrong."

    The railroad emphasizes safety is the priority above everything including on-time performance.

    "Why is it a big headline that they're now being safe? Were they not being safe before?" Cameron added.

    Safety is still on the minds of some passengers.

    "I think once a month there's usually some major train delay and that's the way it's been for the last seven or eight years," said Tom Connon of Stamford.

    The rail line is also making a number of safety changes as part of its 100 day plan. That 100-day deadline ends.