Connecticut and New York members of Congress are partnering to introduce rail safety legislation. The four lawmakers represent areas served by Metro North railroad. The legislation would require railroads to implement a safety risk reduction program.
It would repeal the grandfathering of so-called "alerters". That's the safety system that sounds an alarm when an engineer remains idle while the train is in motion. Metro North is one of the only railroads that does not have "alerters" in their control cabs. If they had, 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says the Bronx derailment and fatalities would have been prevented.
The proposal calls for a timeline for implementing Positive Train Control, which prevents two trains traveling on a single track from colliding with one another. The National Transportation Safety Board has identified this as a way to prevent accidents caused by train operator or dispatcher error.
4th District Congressman Jim Himes says rail safety standards badly need an update because crashes and deaths should not be on people's minds when they get on a train. He added that fatigue in the railroad industry continue to be a significant factor in railroad accidents.