Federal Railroad Administration

FRA Administrator Feinberg with Senator Charles Schumer discussing Positive Train Control at the Schenectday Amtrak station.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer was in Schenectady Wednesday with Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Sarah Feinberg to highlight what he says is a need for a “positive-train control” system between Poughkeepsie and Amsterdam.

WAMC Allison Dunne

Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of what has been called the deadliest crash in Metro-North Railroad history. Federal officials Monday said much has been done to improve grade crossing safety since the crash in Westchester County, and other actions are in the works.

On February 3, 2015, a Metro-North commuter train crashed into an SUV that was stopped on the tracks at the Commerce Street crossing in Valhalla, killing five people on the train and the car's driver. In the weeks following the crash, federal officials pledged their commitment to improve rail crossing safety.

Barry Solow, flickr

A federal report that found major safety lapses at Metro-North Railroad has two U.S. senators looking to the railroad’s new president for change. Meanwhile, a few congressional representatives say it’s time to spend money on improving the nation’s rail system and other infrastructure.

Barry Solow, flickr

The Federal Railroad Administration Friday released a report finding major safety lapses at Metro-North, including that the railroad emphasized punctuality to the detriment of safety. The report was prompted by four accidents in 2013, including a fatal derailment in December in the Bronx.

Fed Report Finds Safety Problems At Metro-North

Mar 14, 2014
Barry Solow, flickr

The Federal Railroad Administration Friday released a report on its safety assessment of Metro-North following the railroad’s four accidents in 2013, including the fatal derailment in December in the Bronx. The FRA report is called Operation Deep Dive.

FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo says the report contains three major findings:

“A clear, overemphasis on on time performance to the detriment of safety, combined with an ineffective safety department and poor safety culture, and ineffective and inadequate training, Szabo says.

CSX Oil Train's Engine Derails In Ulster

Feb 25, 2014

A railroad spokesman says there were no injuries and no spills in Tuesday’s minor derailment of an empty oil train in Ulster County that was heading to Chicago from Philadelphia.

WASHINGTON – In the wake of the December 1 Metro-North derailment that killed four people and injured over 60 others, two US senators have asked Congress to increase funding to the Federal Railroad Administration for added inspections.

Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have asked for an increase of $15 million over this year’s sequestered budget, bringing the total in the Obama administration’s request to $185 million for safety and operations.

The additional money would fund 45 more inspectors.

Feds To Examine NY Commuter Rail Line For 2 Months

Dec 13, 2013

Federal rail experts will judge safety compliance and culture at the commuter railroad that operated the train that derailed and killed four people in New York City this month.

The Federal Railroad Administration said Thursday it is launching a comprehensive safety assessment of Metro-North, the nation's second-largest commuter railroad. It starts Monday and will last two months.

Audit Targets Safety On NY State Railroad Bridges

Dec 10, 2013

A New York state audit has found the Department of Transportation lacked records showing adequate safety plans and inspections for many railroad bridges statewide.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli tells The Associated Press some safety records required by state law were late and others apparently didn't exist.

Senators: Put Cameras On Train Tracks, Engineers

Dec 9, 2013
U.S. Senate

After a New York commuter train derailment killed four people, two federal lawmakers want trains to be outfitted with cameras pointed at engineers and at the tracks.

Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut held a news conference Sunday at Grand Central Terminal, one week after the derailment in the Bronx. The Democratic lawmakers are urging the Federal Railroad Administration to implement the cameras.

The National Transportation Safety Board has suggested it.

Operator Error Blamed For NY Freight Train Crash

Sep 4, 2013

CSX Corp. says the derailment of two of its freight trains in the Mohawk Valley earlier this summer was caused by operator error.

The Daily Gazette of Schenectady reports that CSX recently posted its internal investigation into the June 27 derailment to the Federal Railroad Administration website. The company's report says the accident was caused when the eastbound train went through a trackside red light as a westbound train was crossing from one track to another.