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NTSB Calls on Metro-North to address recorders, speed signs.

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Press Release Summary:

February 25, 2014 - Issuing safety recommendations to Metro-North Railroad, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called for use of inward and outward facing audio and image recorders as well as installation of approach permanent speed restrictions signs along right-of-ways. These safety recommendations stem from information learned during ongoing investigation into December 1, 2013 derailment of Metro-North passenger train in Bronx, NY.

National Transportation Safety Board

490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, DC, 20594, USA

Original Press Release

NTSB Calls on Metro-North to Take Action on Recorders and Speed Signs

Press release date: February 18, 2014

WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board today issued a series of safety recommendations to the Metro-North Railroad calling for the use of inward and outward facing audio and image recorders and the installation of approach permanent speed restrictions signs along the right-of-ways. These safety recommendations were developed from information learned during the ongoing investigation into the December 1, 2013 derailment of a Metro-North passenger train in Bronx, New York.

In that crash, the southbound train, consisting of seven passenger cars and one locomotive, derailed on the Metro-North Hudson Line near Spuyten Duyvil Station, killing four and injuring dozens of others.

“The images and audio captured by recorders can be invaluable to our investigators,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “Understanding what is happening inside the cab just prior to a crash can provide crucial information about how to prevent future accidents.”

The NTSB has been advocating for inward and outward facing recorders for investigation and oversight purposes since 2007 and has previously made recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration and other railroads regarding the matter.

Investigators have learned that while Metro-North had posted signs for temporary speed restrictions throughout its rail property, it did not use signage for permanent speed restriction areas including the area where the accident occurred. Since the accident, Metro-North has installed signage to aid operating crews at four locations with permanent speed restrictions, including the derailment area. However, the NTSB believes that Metro-North should use a more systematic approach and install signage at all locations where permanent speed restrictions are in place.

Today, Chairman Hersman met with new Metro North Railroad CEO Guillietti to brief him on the NTSB's on-going investigations and recommendations issued since last May.

The full safety recommendation letter is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2014/R-14-007-009.pdf

Contact Information
Office of Public Affairs
490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594

Keith Holloway
(202) 314-6100
keith.holloway@ntsb.gov

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