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US Metro-North ordered to slow down

Dec 10, 2013Loco Express

An emergency order has been issued to the Metro-North Railroad, calling on it to take immediate steps to ensure its crew don’t speed.

The warning from the Federal Railroad Administration follows the recent tragic derailment on the line, just north of New York City, which left four people dead and injured more than 60.

The order requires Metro-North to modify its existing signal system to ensure speed limits are obeyed and to provide two qualified railroad employees to operate trains where major speed restrictions are in place until the signal system is updated.

Metro-North has also been ordered to identify appropriate modifications to its existing automatic train control system or other signal systems to enable adequate advance warning of and adherence to speed restrictions.

Secretary of US Transportation, Anthony Fox, told Trains magazine that it is thoroughly investigating the accident to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“Safety is our highest priority, and we must do everything we can to learn from this tragic crash and help prevent future derailments,” he said.

“While we assist the National Transportation Safety Board in carrying out its investigation, this Emergency Order will help ensure that other Metro-North trains travel at appropriate, safe speeds.”

There have been concerns the driver involved in the derailment may have suffered from what is being termed ‘highway hypnosis’ – a case of the train’s hypnotic motion causing him to nod off momentarily.

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