MTA announces Metro-North safety improvements

Signal crews have installed to new protections at the Sputyen Duyvil curve, the site of the fatal Dec. 1 crash. (Credit: MTA)
Signal crews have installed to new protections at the Spuyten Duyvil curve, the site of the fatal Dec. 1 crash. (Credit: MTA)

Metro-North is implementing immediate safety improvements one week after the fatal derailment in the Bronx, the MTA announced on Sunday.

Signal crews have installed new protections at the Spuyten Duyvil curve, the site of the crash, which will warn train engineers of the approaching speed reduction and will automatically apply emergency brakes if the speed is not lowered to the 30 mph maximum at the curve.

“Metro-North is taking important steps to improve safety for its customers and employees, and I expect the railroad will continue searching for ways to improve its operations and fully restore its commuters’ confidence,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast in a statement.

The new protections at the Spuyten Duyvil curve were already in operation on Monday morning.

By Tuesday, the MTA says all Metro-North trains will have enhanced communication between train engineers and conductors to ensure trains are moving at safe speeds at a total of five critical curves and five movable bridges along Metro-North routes.

Metro-North engineers are developing new signal protections to automatically enforce speed restrictions at the other four critical curves by March, and at the five movable bridges by September.

The four critical curves are at Yonkers on the Hudson Line, White Plains on the Harlem Line, and Port Chester and Bridgeport on the New Haven Line. All five movable bridges are on the New Haven Line.

In addition, Metro-North will reduce the maximum speed at 26 locations in order to eliminate areas where the speed limit drops by more than 20 mph. Signs will be posted by Dec. 16 to alert engineers of the reductions in maximum authorized speed.

The improvements were made as part of an agreement between Metro-North and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT).

“These actions, combined with investments in the infrastructure and a heightened focus on safety with all employees, are critical to ensure the confidence and trust of all of the stakeholders in the Metro-North rail system,” said ConnDOT Commissioner James Redeker in a statement.

“It is our expectation that Metro-North will continue to make safety and reliability their primary focus and demonstrate this through regular and transparent actions and communications.”


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