Mike Krafcik, FOX CT
HARTFORD— Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) was in Hartford today to talk about the need for greater safety and reliability on Connecticut’s rail-ways.
While speaking at the State Capital Complex Friday morning, Blumenthal said over the next three months— he’s planning to draft new laws aimed at enforcing regulations aimed at protecting rail safety.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been under fire after a rash of accidents and service failures.
Four people were killed in a metro-north derailment in the Bronx in December.
In May 2013, a Metro North worker was hit and killed by a train in West Haven, just weeks before— passengers were hurt when metro north trains derailed and collided in Bridgeport.
On Thursday, the senator held his first hearing as the chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation.
Blumenthal says the legislation he wants to develop will force the federal railroad administration and the NTSB to emphasize measures to improve safety and reliability on commuter and all train lines.
Blumenthal didn’t provide specifics on his plan, but says he wants to intensity the enforcement of measure to improve the safety and reliability of commuter and freight rail, including automatic train controls, signal controls, cameras and routine track safety inspections.
“The federal watchdogs have really been asleep at the switch– rules are important, there is no substitute for safety and reliability,” said Blumenthal.
Sen. Blumenthal expects there to be a series of congressional hearings with the possibility of Metro North officials being called on to testify.