Metro North has completed upgrades to its signal system to enable automatic speed enforcement at five critical curves and movable bridges in New York and Connecticut. That announcement came Monday from the state Department of Transportation. Senator Richard Blumenthal called it a modest milestone, but a critical safety measure.
Blumenthal says commuters have good reason to ask about timelines and deadlines for achieving other safety measures like alterers and cameras. He says had the technology been in place before last December's fatal derailment, the horrific crash could have been averted. Blumenthal says Metro North needs to disclose any additional locations that raise similar risks.
Metro North has also released a plan to install monitoring equipment that will detect overheated wheels and loads of freight trains to identify faults before they cause problems.
This comes as work is being done to replace two grade crossings on the Danbury Branch. There is now a detour in place at East Liberty Street. Work is expected to last through Wednesday. In Danbury, both sides of the street require excavation and the entire crossing will be replaced.
Work will start Friday at the South Street crossing in Bethel.
Officials say the work may identify contributing factors to the new technology that's caused gates and lights to activate when no trains are in the area. Trains are now operating with a so-called Stop And Warn procedure, where the train stops before each crossing to make sure the gates and working.