Representative Engel says he is appalled by Metro-North safety report

Washington, D.C. -- Congressman Eliot L. Engel (NY-16) urges Metro-North to quickly reassess its safety procedures in the wake of a new federal report, which raised several red flags about Metro-North’s safety culture. The report is a direct response to a deadly, December train accident in his district. 

The Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Operation Deep Dive addresses the underlying causes of a deadly train derailment that killed four people and left scores injured on December 1, 2013. This was the fourth major Metro-North accident in 2013.

“I was appalled to learn of the findings described in this report. Metro-North shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to passenger safety just to make the trains run on time.  There’s absolutely no excuse for de-emphasizing the need for safety.”

According to the report, Metro-North is plagued by three fundamental problems: a destructive emphasis on timely departures and arrives, the absence of proactive – rather than reactive – response to safety concerns, and defective training procedures.

“I am asking Metro-North to quickly remedy these indefensible issues. Passengers should be able to ride the rails without fear or concern for their personal safety.”

Metro-North has 60 days submit plans to the FRA, indicating how the regional train line will improve its safety and training programs.

A PDF of the FRA’s report is available here.