MTA Responds To Calls For Answers And Action

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In the wake of two accidents that left dozens injured and one man dead, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is taking a serious look at the way it takes care of the tracks.

On May 17, a train derailed and side-swiped another train near Bridgeport.  The accident left 76 people injured.

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and Congressman Jim Himes have been pushing for answers about the safety of the tracks, and the causes of both the derailment and an accident days later where a train hit and killed a foreman working on the tracks.

Even before the National Transportation Safety Board finishes its investigation of the derailment, the MTA says it is already taking steps to improve safety.

In a letter the delegation received Monday, the MTA says it’s looking for ways to better protect railroad workers, and hiring an outside firm to see how they’re doing in maintaining and inspecting the tracks.

But the head of the Metro North Commuter Rail Council says he has another concern: about the loss of experienced workers who are retiring after 30 years, when they become eligible for full pension.

Jim Cameron says, “They are losing the senior management and the rank and file personnel that make that railway safe.”

Cameron says he’ll raise the issue when the council hosts its first meeting with MTA representatives next Wednesday at 7 pm at Stamford City Hall.

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