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Blumenthal Announces Step Towards Rail Safety

Program to implement shunting devices
Stamford, CT | Added on June 21, 2013 At 03:48 PM

Senator Richard Blumenthal announced in a meeting at the Hartford Legislative Office Friday that Metro-North will install rail shunts on the New Haven line within four weeks.

The program will implement shunting devices on portions of its New Haven Line.  The devices are able to send warning-light signals in the direction of train traffic when a line needs to be closed for work or emergency reasons.

“This step will help save lives," Blumenthal said. "This pilot shunt system, hopefully leading to a full roll out, is commendably part of a major refocus on rail safety at MTA. It should be followed by more technologically advanced measures that enable trains to be warned and stopped when workers or others are in danger. The shunt system is simple, feasible and inexpensive, each device costing about $200."

The National Transportation Safety Board issued an urgent recommendation earlier this week that would require redundant signal protection such as shunting, a form of technology they say could have prevented the death of Metro-North track foreman Robert Luden, who was killed near West Haven on May 28 while working on a track that should have been out of service due to construction work. 

"I am pleased that MTA has heeded the urgent recommendation of the National Transportation Safety Board,"  Blumenthal said. "I look forward to working with MTA as it continues pro-active steps to assure the safety of its passengers and workers, and I will continue to champion with our Congressional delegation the profoundly important infrastructure needs of our northeast corridor railroads.”




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