The National Transportation Safety Board plans to hold hearings on two recent Connecticut Metro-North Railroad accidents in October.
The hearings will look into the May 17 derailment in Bridgeport and the crash that killed a foreman in West Haven on May 28.
On the evening of May 17, a Metro-North passenger train traveling eastbound derailed and was struck by a westbound Metro-North passenger train. Seventy-three passengers, two engineers and a conductor were injured.
Then, on May 28, 2013, a Metro-North track foreman was struck and killed by a Metro-North passenger train in West Haven.
The foreman had requested that the section of track he was working on be taken out of service for maintenance.
Two Metro-North rail traffic controllers, including a student controller, had placed the section out of service with an electronic block, but the student controller removed the electronic block a little more than an hour later without the knowledge of the qualified controller or the track foreman, according to NTSB.
A consolidated investigative hearing will be held on October 22 and 23 in Washington, DC and NTSB will receive testimony from parties to the investigation on several issues, including track inspection and maintenance, passenger car safety standards, crashworthiness, policy and practice of roadway worker protection and organizational safety culture.
Both investigations are ongoing and the determination of a probable cause for each of the accidents will be released when the investigations are complete.
Last month, the NTSB issued an urgent safety recommendation to Metro-North Railroad to provide redundant protection for track maintenance crews who depend on rail traffic controllers to provide signal protection.