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Rail News: Safety

Schumer to FRA: Examine LIRR's safety practices


U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has asked the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to begin a formal examination of MTA Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) safety practices following an FRA report last week that revealed a lack of a safety culture at MTA Metro-North Railroad.

The FRA's "Operation Deep Dive" was a 60-day investigation into Metro-North's safety practices in the wake of a string of accidents over the past year, including a Bronx train derailment in December 2013 that resulted in four fatalities. The report raised major concerns about Metro-North's practices, including an "over emphasis" on on-time performance, an ineffective safety department and poor safety culture, and an ineffective training program.

Schumer has asked the FRA to determine whether similar safety concerns are occurring at LIRR

"The FRA clearly found something rotten at Metro-North, and we need to make sure that rot hasn't spread to the LIRR," said Schumer in a press release. "We got the FRA the resources it needs to do investigations like this in the last budget bill, and now it's time for the FRA to step up to the plate and make sure Metro-North's sister railroad does not have the same safety problems."

In the appropriations bill recently passed by Congress, the FRA's funding was enhanced so that the agency could heighten its safety oversight of railroads.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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