CHAPPAQUA, Westchester (PIX11) — “What we are doing today is acting now in a bi-partisan fashion to save lives, before we have another tragic accident on metro north or elsewhere,” said U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney on Monday just yards from the Metro-North’s Harlem Line in Chappaqua.
The congressman out of New York’s 18th district had U.S. representative Nita Lowey out of the 17th district at his side as the two spoke about the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Ac, key legislation, with a heavy emphasis on technology, that the two have worked on and that goes for a vote in the house this week. “This is the best chance to move forward once and for all with positive train control, which can stop trains automatically.”
Representative Lowey adding, “I don’t understand how in 2015 we don’t have the technology that can send a strong signal to the person who is driving the train and have an automatic stop without even the engineer doing anything.”
Coincidentally, the safety improvements that Representatives Maloney and Lowey are calling for comes one month after the deadliest train collision in Metro North history. On Feb. 3, a car collided with a train in Valhalla that resulted in 6 deaths. Days after that crash Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal said, “In a country that can put a man on the moon, we can design better grade crossings that save lives and prevent this type of crash.”
Following the Valhalla crash, Senator Blumenthal expressed his concerns about Federal Railroad Administration’s regulations on track to gate proximity after he measured out the distance at that crossing with PIX11 News.
On Monday, it was Maloney who shared his concerns at a different crossing which appears to not observe the 12-feet minimum that the FRA calls for from the guard to the center of the track. “Absolutely, concerning, you can see how easy a car can get trapped here. That is exactly what happened Valhalla.”