U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling on the Federal Railroad Administration to release 10 years of Metro-North safety records.
Sen. Blumenthal is pushing for full disclosure after so many train service disruptions and accidents in the past year. The senator wants the release of all inspection reports, safety evaluations and enforcement actions from the past 10 years.
For the past two months the Federal Railroad Administration has been assessing Metro-North. The investigation is called Operation Deep Dive. That report should be completed soon, but it won’t address some issues the senator is looking to get to the bottom of.
“We need to know how deep-seated and long-lasting these problems have been,” he said. “The reason for these inspection reports, the reason I’m demanding them is very simple: We need to know how long chronic problems with Metro-North have been.”
The rail carrier has been plagued with wrecks, derailments and even casualties. In December, four people were killed in the Bronx when a train crashed. Most recently, over-crowded trains couldn’t fit all passengers who wanted to get on board Friday. Saturday, a train carrying 40 passengers crashed into an unoccupied van in Norwalk.
Sen. Blumenthal said it’s all about putting the most recent Metro-North incidents into historical context.
Pam Martorelli, a commuter, said the more information the better.
“I think it’s a good thing. Why not? If there’s issues we should be addressing them,” she said.
John Mikitish, another Metro-North rider, agreed.
“I think more information couldn’t be harmful,” he said.
Monday Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy will meet with the new Metro-North president. Tuesday, commuters will have a chance to speak out and get some answers about what’s going on with Metro-North. It’s scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Pequot Library in Southport. Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Jim Redeker will be in attendance.