Some people do not own cars, instead they rely on public transportation such as trains to get to work, school and other daily activities. Metro-North is one such railroad that provides commuters transportation. But even after Metro-North’s recent accidents and the blistering comments from safety organizations about safety lapses that led to five accidents — some fatal — many commuters still see a ride on the train as just a way to get to work. Recently the president of Metro-North posted an open letter to commuters on the railroad's website Thursday in response to the report released nearly two weeks ago, recapping a year and a half's work to correct safety lapses that led to a string of calamities.
The NTSB report found that all five of the accidents it investigated -- three derailments and two track worker deaths -- were preventable, and stemmed from poor management of safety measures. The NTSB report also attributed all five accidents to Metro-North's failure to adopt NTSB safety recommendations, some of which are decades old. Among them was installation of an automatic braking system called positive train-control technology.
As Virginia (VA) railroad accident attorneys we have been writing about the failure of railroad companies such as CSX, Metro-North, Norfolk Southern and others to put safety ahead of company profits. The rail anti-crash technology, known as Positive Train Control or PTC, is designed to automatically stop a train before it is able to run a red signal or get itself into other dangerous situations. This is an improvement over the signaling systems that are currently in place, which are able to warn train operators of danger, but still allow the possibility of accidents. The problem is the railroad industry has been resisting the installation of positive train control, PTC for years and repeatedly asked for extensions.