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Is hot weather the cause of your nightmare commute? Senator Schumer wants DOT to investigate

GRAND CENTRAL STATION (PIX11) – Detour instructions for Metro North riders still filled the information boards at Grand Central Sunday.

Officials put the alternate plan in place after several cars of a garbage hauling freight train derailed last week.

With concern that the accident could be related to the recent heat wave,  Senator Chuck Schumer is calling on the Federal Department of Transportation to investigate the accident and several other rail related slowdowns caused by the heat.

“The bottom line is that a hot summers day should not make a commuter’s schedule go off the rail,” Schumer said.

Schumer says with an aging infrastructure tracks are cracking, power lines are drooping, and transformers are overheating more often in the extreme temperatures.

And in New York City where so many people depend on public transportation, the Senator and riders both agree heat should not get in the way of someone’s job.

“Getting to work, you’re losing a days pay if you can’t get there on time so people are going to make a decision to stay home, or to come in, or to deal with it later,” the Senator said.

But Schumer wants the Federal DOT to deal with it now.  He wants a comprehensive plan to avoid future heat related issues so congress can include funding for improvements when they consider the transportation bill next year. “It costs a lot to commute.  At the very least you ought to expect good service.”

For its part the MTA says it’s willing to help with any investigation to keep trains and commuters on track.

In a statement a spokesperson told PIX11:

“We will participate in any collective effort to evaluate transportation systems to make them safer and more resilient, along with our continued effort to protect against, and make our system resilient in the face of future storms and flooding.”

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