The final report by the panel assigned to study the commuter rail's horrific safety record only confirmed what everyone knows: The railroad is an old, unsafe mess. It has put train punctuality ahead of safety (achieving neither) and neglected maintenance.
At least everybody is on the same page. The report echoes what has been said by most everyone who counts -- including new Metro-North President
The panel of railroad experts was appointed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to look at the shockingly bad 2013 safety record at three of its operations -- Metro-North, the
Among its major accidents were a derailment in
The accidents and delays attributed to wrong-headed priorities and decaying infrastructure on Metro-North lines have passengers fighting back with angry tweets (see @MetroFingNorth) and even calling 911 at times.
The MTA's report did not assess blame for the railroad's past mistakes, but has issued 29 recommendations (some of them obvious) to avoid future ones. Among them: Provide more time for track work and bolster the safety culture at Metro-North.
There have been some improvement in the last few months, as even Sen.
But this is a long-term project. And the critical question is this: Will the legislature and the federal government invest in fixing the railroad, first built in the 1840s? By one estimate, the
That's what will be needed to avoid another dreadful 2013.
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