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Federal Railroad Administration Launches 'Deep Dive' Probe Of Metro-North

The Federal Railroad Administration will begin a 60-day investigation of Metro North on Monday, Dec. 16.
The Federal Railroad Administration will begin a 60-day investigation of Metro North on Monday, Dec. 16. Photo Credit: Courtesy of @JonMaggio/Twitter

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The Federal Railroad Administration announced it will launch a 60-day safety assessment of Metro-North called "Operation Deep Dive."

The probe into the commuter rail comes on the heels of the fatal derailment that took place on Dec. 1 in the Bronx, N.Y., the derailment that took place along the Fairfield/Bridgebport border in May and the power outage that left commuters stranded for days in September. The FRA expects to start the investigation on Monday, Dec. 16.

“Safety is our top priority, and this in-depth investigation will help ensure that Metro-North is doing everything possible to improve its safety record,”  U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “Together with our other recent efforts, Operation Deep Dive will give travelers the peace of mind they deserve when traveling throughout the railroad’s region.”

The rail safety team will look at:

  • Track, signal and rolling stock maintenance, inspection and repair practices;
  • Protection for employees working on rail infrastructure, locomotives and rail cars;
  • Communication between mechanical and transportation departments at maintenance facilities;
  • Operation control center procedures and rail traffic controller training;
  • Compliance with federal Hours of Service regulations, including fatigue management programs;
  • Evaluating results of operational data to measure efficiency of employees’ execution and comprehension of all applicable federal regulations;
  • Locomotive engineer oversight;
  • Engineer and conductor certification;
  • Operating crew medical requirements.

After Operation Deep Dive is complete, FRA will issue a report with findings and recommendations.

The FRA will further evaluate Metro-North’s compliance with the Emergency Order, its effectiveness in fulfilling the recommendations in the Safety Advisory, and then consider if additional actions are necessary to strengthen safety at Metro-North.

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