MTA makes effort to improve rail safety

The verdict is still out on whether attempts by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to improve the safety of  its public commuter rail systems has paid off. 

Following a number of train derailments in recent years and increasing concerns about the public's safety, MTA created a blue-ribbon panel of rail experts to study its commuter rail systems. 

The panel spent more than a year studying the MTA system, interviewing workers, visiting work sites, attending training sessions and comparing the MTA's practices to other railroad operations before issuing 29 recommendations in August to improve the safety of the three MTA rail lines.

Since the report was released, the MTA has worked to improve the safety of the Staten Island Railway, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Rail Road. Among the changes were lowering speed limits at 33 locations along the MTA's rail lines, enhanced speed restriction compliance monitoring, aggressive right-of-way improvements and the development and installation of signal system modifications at the Spuyten Duyvil curve, the site of a derailment in 2013.

Transportation safety advocates are now waiting to see if those improvements will result in fewer derailments for MTA trains. 

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Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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