MTA Responds To Delegation\’s Safety Concerns, Says It Has Taken Immediate Action To Ensure Safety

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In response to last month\’s Metro-North train derailment, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes called on the Metro Transit Authority to take immediate action to ensure safety, and the MTA on Monday responded to those concerns.

\"trainsThe National Transportation Safety Board report and recommendations in response to the crash are not scheduled to be released for months. After learning last week that a problem with the track was identified during an inspection two days before the crash, Himes, Blumenthal and Murphy called on the MTA to take immediate action to ensure safety, rather than waiting for the final report.

\”In response to our concerns, the MTA informed us that it has taken steps in advance of the final National Transportation Safety Board report to confirm the safety of the tracks – steps that include a top-to-bottom review and inventory of all its rail joints, as well as an assessment of Metro-North\’s track management and safety procedures,\” said Himes, Murphy and Blumenthal in a statement Monday, responding to a letter they received from the MTA.

In the letter, the MTA outlined eight actions they have taken \”as a result of the derailment and fatality in advance of formal NTSB recommendations. The actions are as follows:

  • Retaining Transportation Technology Center Inc., which is the internationally-renowned research affiliate of
  • the American Association of Railroads to assess our track maintenance and inspection programs, and to
  • identify ways we can improve our efforts to maintain our right-of-way
  • Inspecting and conducting an inventory of all similar joints—no defects found
  • Increasing inspections of our right-of-way using specialized equipment on loan from other railroads
  • Exploring solutions to better protect railroad employees working in the right-of-way
  • Building in additional safeguards to our procedures in the railroad’s operations control center regarding
  • Returning tracks to revenue service
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