Blumenthal Issues Statement Ahead Of NTSB Investigative Hearing On Two Metro-North Train Accidents

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued a statement ahead of the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigative hearing on two Metro-North train accidents in Connecticut – the May 17, 2013 derailment and collision involving two Metro-North commuter trains in Bridgeport, Conn., and the May 28, 2013 accident in West Haven, Conn., in which a rail worker was struck and killed by a Metro-North passenger train. The two-day hearing will commence at 9 AM tomorrow and Thursday, and can be watched live by clicking on the following link: www.ntsb.gov.

“Two train accidents 10 days apart raised dramatic doubts about whether railcars and railways are safe and reliable. I hope this hearing will address and help answer such questions, and assure that more adequate action is taken. Strong evidence suggests that key flawed and failing track structures were the cause of the May 17 derailment – specifically joints connecting two tracks that cracked and broke. The question now is how widespread are such problems. I commend Metro-North for implementing new signal and warning systems in response to the tragic death of Robert Luden, but questions remain as to whether other worker protection measures are necessary. Investments in train and track upgrades are critical to keeping commuters safe and trains reliable, and I will continue to press for these infrastructure investments. The NTSB should finish its report as soon as possible; I am very concerned that it hasn’t been completed before now.”