ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT


Stay Connected
ADVERTISEMENT


Sen. Blumenthal to introduce rail safety bill


WEST HAVEN — Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Tuesday he is introducing federal legislation that would require the nation’s passenger and freight rail system, including Metro-North, to adopt what he calls “life-saving technology.”

The Democrat’s proposal would mandate so-called “alerters,” which sound an alarm when a train engineer seems idle while a train is in motion. If an engineer doesn’t respond, the train’s breaks are automatically applied.

Blumenthal’s bill would also enhance the Federal Railroad Administration’s safety oversight abilities, boost civil penalties and require federal agencies to develop a national system for reporting close calls.

His proposal comes in the wake of two accidents involving Metro-North. On Dec. 1, a Metro-North train derailed in New York, killing four passengers and injuring more than 70 others. In January 2009, a signal maintainer was struck and killed in New Haven.

Blumenthal said Tuesday he also wants quarterly reports to be made to Congress, updating lawmakers on the progress being made on meeting interim National Transportation Safety Board recommendations, including those concerning fatigue and cameras.

“Cascading catastrophic crashes, devastating derailments, serious delays and service disruptions clearly show that our rail safety protocols, standards and management are woefully insufficient,” said Blumenthal, who is chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security.

He said that existing federal regulation and oversight of rail safety has been “shamefully inadequate.”

Metro-North, the nation’s second-largest commuter rail system, released a 100-day plan last month. The railroad said it has completed most of its priorities to improve safety, including creating an investigation unit to look into the root causes of accidents, an overhauled system safety plan, improved training programs and other changes.

Metro-North said it plans to install the “alerter” devices on trains later this year.

In May, Connecticut Reps. Rosa DeLauro, Jim Himes and Elizabeth Esty and New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney proposed their own legislation to improve rail safety. Their bill also required tan automatic fail-safe device.



Back to State
Top Stories of the Week

One person hospitalized after accident on Route 5 in Wallingford …
WALLINGFORD — At least one person was hospitalized after a two-car accident on Route 5 near the entrance to Kohls. Fire officials said one person … more ...

Meriden man charged in armed robbery …
MERIDEN — A city man has been charged in connection with an armed robbery reported in late March on Parker Avenue North. Joshua Hill, 21, … more ...

Crews respond to school bus crash on I-691 in Meriden …
MERIDEN — There were no serious injuries after a school bus veered off Interstate 691 westbound and crashed in the woods near Exit 5. The … more ...

Memorial Day parade schedule …
Memorial Day parades: Meriden The parade is on Monday at 10 a.m. and will begin at Washington Park on Liberty Street and make its way … more ...

Old Dublin in Wallingford to reopen in July under new …
WALLINGFORD — The Old Dublin will be closed starting today for renovations and is expected to re-open in July. When patrons return, the business will … more ...

Comments