Monday, September 15, 2014

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MTA: New Safety Procedures In Place On Metro-North In Wake Of Derailment

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TWC News: MTA: New Safety Procedures In Place On Metro-North In Wake Of Derailment
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Some new safety measures are in place, and another goes into effect Tuesday, in the wake of last week's deadly Metro-North derailment. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.

More than a week after a derailment that killed four people and injured dozens of others, some Metro-North riders still have jitters.

"We were talking on the train. A lot of people are a little nervous about it now, about riding on the train, sleeping, because you never know what's going to happen, if this situation is going to occur again," said one person.

To avoid that, Metro-North crews have been installing a warning system that would alert engineers to slow down at the curve near the Spuyten Duyvil station. That's where the train derailed last Sunday after heading into a 30-mile-per-hour zone at 82 miles an hour. If the trains fail to slow down, the emergency brakes will engage automatically.

The investigation is focusing on the alertness of the engineer at the time of the accident.

"If they can find a way that would help maintain focus with the engineers but also not distract them, then I think that would be a good idea," said one rider.

"I'm into it as long as the train gets me where I'm going. I think that'd be just great," said another.

Starting Tuesday, Metro-North will also require conductors to stand beside engineers at dangerous curves to verbally confirm that speed limits are being followed, and within a year, alert systems will be installed in the older third of Metro-North's fleet that now have only a manual safety switch to make sure engineers are awake at the controls.

"I think that would be great though," said one person. "I think that would be wonderful to have that happen."

"I'm kind of surprised there isn't something like that hard-wired in the trains already," said another.

On Sunday, Sen. Charles Schumer called for all Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road trains to have cameras monitoring inside and outside the train, something that the National Transportation Safety Board recommended five years ago after a train accident in California.

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