June 13, 2014

Metro-North gives update on rail safety initiatives

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Metro-North Railroad issued a 100-Day Report on the Action Plan established by President Joseph J. Giulietti, which focused the railroad’s efforts on improving safety, restoring reliability and improving communications.

Of 32 initiatives established in the Action Plan, 21 have been fully implemented, seven are in progress and two will be pursued after outside entities submit independent reports. Two more initiatives — implementing a “back to basics” plan for train reliability and service delivery and communicating service delivery information to customers and elected officials — will remain ongoing, long-term Metro-North priorities.

“Metro-North has made major strides in the past 100 days, with concrete accomplishments that have made operations safer, established a safety culture, improved service reliability and expanded our communications,” Giulietti said. “Our customers and everyone who relies on Metro-North have seen real accomplishments that have gone a long way toward restoring their faith in the railroad. Our challenge is to keep this relentless focus on improvement that our customers expect.”

Major improvements have been made in many areas including enhancing track inspection and maintenance, installing alerters and video cameras in engineers’ cabs, beefing up the safety and training departments, expanding employee testing programs to ensure understanding of safety rules, creating a computer-based track worker safety system and implementing a Confidential Close Call Reporting System.

The Federal Railroad Administration completed its review of Metro-North practices in May, and its recommendations are incorporated into the 100-Day Report. Two external reports, from the MTA’s Blue Ribbon Panel and the National Transportation Safety Board, have not yet been submitted, but Metro-North has committed to implementing any recommendations from those entities that have not already been addressed.

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