Safety Not Guaranteed

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Metro-North train following its derailment in the Bronx (Christopher Gregory/Getty)

Kate Hinds, WNYC transportation reporter, and Jim Cameron, founder of the Commuter Action Group, discusses the Federal Railroad Administration's report on Metro North, which was prompted by the fatal train derailment in The Bronx last December. The report found that the agency prioritized punctuality over safety, along with other troublesome issues.


Jim Cameron and Kate Hinds

Comments [11]

TE from Riverside

It amazes me how little Jim Cameron actually knows about how Metro-North works. And he sits there and still spouts the same ridiculous nonsense despite being continually corrected by Metro-North employees and other people who actually know how Metro-North works. It's clear that he just wants to hear his own voice and promote his own agenda instead of actually working to improve Metro-North.

Mar. 17 2014 03:47 PM

I have been saying this from day one and I will continue to say it. The MTA and the Unions need to have health training courses mandatory. The consumption of starches and carbs before and during shifts lead to lethargic behavior. I have experienced it and have seen people driving 1/2 asleep after a BIG Breakfast of Steak Lunch. Immediately when I heard that the motorman on MetroNorth crashed, I did a little unscientific math. Coming off a holiday weekend, schedule change, warm operators cabin without proper ventilation, and gosh knows what he ate that morning all lead to stray though and sleep driving. We need to educate persons who are in sit down operation of vehicles to EAT better to have better mental alertness. But as always, this is ignored.

Mar. 17 2014 10:37 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Oops, I should've read the segment description 1st. I'll rephrase: It shouldn't take an accident to prompt the FRA to investigate rather than monitor what's going on so they can be prevented.

Mar. 17 2014 10:30 AM
JB from Mamaroneck

Honestly, I have absolutely no worries about the personnel. What terrifies me is the bridges. I ride the New Haven line and hold my breath every time the train crosses the Harlem River. I just don't trust that the tracks and overpasses are being maintained to the degree they should be.

Mar. 17 2014 10:27 AM

Who knows if these added safety features are needed or not but I want to know who will profit off of the sales of all the new stuff added to the trains.

Mar. 17 2014 10:26 AM
Amy from Manhattan

What about enforcement? If there's a legal requirement for a maintenance schedule, shouldn't the gov't. agency responsible be checking to see if the railroads are adhering to it? We shouldn't have to wait for an accident to prompt the news media to investigate.

Mar. 17 2014 10:26 AM
Robert from NYC

You know now that y'all know this I think if you go out and check, you'll find that other institutions do the same thing. Probably MTA in general does it and I think police records of crime are baloney (to put it nicely) too. Statistics are played with often, too often, and reports are wrong or sometimes they just lie. How often to we get the reports of how well the economy is doing for a particular month then about a month or so later an in-passing, brief report, even here on WNYC, will tell us that the report of a month or two ago on the economy was off by a certain percentage and things were not so rosey as previously reported. By then we're expected to not care nor not even notice the brief report. But indifference is quite the american way of life anyway these day that we are where we are, ie, economically, financially, socially, culturally, because of indifference and, to use one of Brian's favorite words, sloth! Well that said, lol, yea they're more concerned about on-time than safety records.

Mar. 17 2014 10:25 AM
M. L. from Croton-on-Hudson, NY

I'm a Metro-North rider on the Hudson line. I appreciate Metro-North's timeliness. I am a little surprised that punctuality has been prioritized over safety—that seems to indicate to me that the railroad infrastructure is deficient. Still, I'd rather be taking the train than driving into the city. I'm aware of how much more dangerous driving is than taking public transportation.

Mar. 17 2014 10:23 AM
antonio from baySide

Is the reason why because, lack of funds?

Considering the state of everything in the fleet, infrastructure etc. I bet that's why...

Get some duckets in there...

Mar. 17 2014 10:19 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Profit--getting workers to work "on time"--made a priority over safety. What a shock. "Revenue trains"--what a delightfully clear euphemism!

Mar. 17 2014 10:17 AM

My neighbor's mother was recently visiting NJ and NY from Tehran. I asked her what stood out most about her trip. "Your terrible infrastructure!" I was going to tell her about the great infrastructure we actually have recently built in Iraq but for some reason I didn't feel like it.

Mar. 17 2014 09:53 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.