After a recent Federal Railroad Administration report found that Metro-North has compromised safety for speed, railroad president Joseph Giulietti is promising to change that.
“Let me be clear: Safety will be this railroad’s top priority,” Giulietti said in a statement Tuesday. “I will not allow any Metro-North trains to operate unless it is safe for them to run. We will not run this railroad any other way.”
The investigation, known as Operation Deep Dive, was launched following a deadly December train derailment in the Bronx, but addresses an array of other problems that have plagued Metro-North over the past year.
Giulietti unveiled his 100-day plan to improve the railroad earlier this month and says he’s making some changes in the wake of the FRA review.
“We are taking the report’s observations, recommendations and mandates seriously, and are already addressing many of the FRA’s concerns in the draft 100-Day Action Plan that we recently unveiled,” Giulietti said in a statement. “The plan will be revised not only to address specific areas of concern identified by the FRA, but also recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the MTA’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Safety when these reviews are complete.”
Giulietti said those revisions will include improving employee training, monitoring performance, introducing a confidential close-call reporting systems for employees to address safety concerns, improving track inspection methods and maintenance, installing cameras on all trains, installing the Positive Train Control system, buying new equipment and making necessary changes to management.
“Customer service excellence begins with a safe operation,” Giuliettie said in the statement. “And we will continue to work with both the FRA and National Transportation Safety Board to ensure that we heighten the safety awareness of everyone who works on this railroad.”
Giulietti took over the railroad in February and launched his 100-day plan just three weeks into his presidency.