MTA has been ordered by the US Government to take action to ensure Metro-North services don’t break speed limits in the future following a derailment that led to the deaths of four passengers.
The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued an Emergency Order (EO) requiring Metro-North to upgrade its signalling or Automatic Train Control (ATC) systems.
The EO follows NTSB’s analysis of the train’s black box which discovered that the train had been travelling at 82 mph as it went into the 30 mph curve.
Four of the train’s 120 passengers were killed in the accident on December 1 in which all seven cars derailed before Spuyten Duyvil station beside the Hudson River.
MTA must now take measures to modify its systems and in the meantime employ two qualified engineers on routes where ‘major speed restrictions’ are in place.
“Safety is our highest priority, and we must do everything we can to learn from this tragic crash and help prevent future derailments,” said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
If MTA fails to act, the FRA could take enforcement action against either the operator or individual employees who violate the order.
The FRA said it had already “increased its oversight and enforcement” of Metro-North lines following a collision between two trains in Connecticut in May.
A further investigation will now be conducted to assess MTA Metro-North’s safety compliance with federal safety regulations.