FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Metro-North officials are vowing to get trains running on a normal schedule at full speeds by April along the New Haven Line in Fairfield County as it continues to deal with the aftermath of two derailments this year, according to a statement from Gov. Dannel Malloy.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates Metro-North, sent Malloy a report outlining the actions taken since a derailment in May on the Fairfield-Bridgeport border that left more than 60 people injured and a derailment in December in the Bronx that killed four people.
Malloy requested the report and regular updates on the commuter railroad in a letter to the MTA on Dec. 3.
The report promises to lift, by next April at the latest, the "slow orders" that have been in place since the May collision of two trains in Connecticut. Those “slow orders” have reduced train speeds and added minutes to virtually every train schedule.
The report provides details on each of the actions and also commits Metro-North to ongoing monthly reporting on track, signal, equipment and other inspections along with reports on the safety condition of the system. These include:
- Track maintenance and inspection programs and procedures;
- New train dispatching and employee protection protocols;
- Speed enforcement technology and practices;
- Track and safety departments’ organizational capabilities and structure; and
- Programs and training related to overall safety and the safety culture at Metro-North.
“I want to thank the MTA and Metro-North Railroad for their response to our request. Our mutual goal is the same – a ‘best in class’ railroad with a commitment to a culture of safety, and I believe we are making strides toward that goal," Malloy said in a statement. "I am anxious to return to normal service for the thousands of commuters that use this service on a daily basis, and hope the MTA will beat their April deadline.”
Connecticut's New Haven Line, with more than 125,000 passenger trips every weekday, is the busiest line in the U.S.