U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) urged the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to begin a formal examination of Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) overall safety regime.
Schumer’s request comes after last week’s report from “Operation Deep Dive,” an investigation into Metro-North conducted by the federal government in the wake of four serious and deadly accidents. The report revealed missteps in safety procedures at Metro-North and Sen. Schumer is seeking to ensure that these problems have not also spread to LIRR. Sen. Schumer said that the FRA, using some of the additional resources provided in the recently passed appropriations bills, needs to make sure that the lack of a “culture of safety” revealed by the report has not also spread to LIRR.
“The FRA clearly found something rotten at Metro-North and we need to make sure that rot hasn’t spread to LIRR,” said Sen. Schumer. “We got the FRA the resources it needs to do investigations like this in the last budget bill and now it’s time for the FRA to step up to the plate and make sure Metro-North’s sister railroad does not have the same safety problems. Before its recent spate of back-to-back-to-back-to-back accidents, Metro-North had a top-notch safety record and we want to catch any mistakes the LIRR is making before it’s too late.”
“Riders are understandably concerned about their safety while traveling on LIRR. Over the past year, derailments and other incidents on the railroad are reminders of the need to continually focus on the safety of the LIRR’s operation. The Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council (LIRRCC) welcomes any assistance that Sen. Schumer can provide in having the FRA assess the safety-related operations and procedures on LIRR. Their outside perspective can clearly be valuable in identifying concerns and developing corrective actions before accidents occur and not wait to cure problems until after serious injuries occur. Sen. Schumer has been a leader when it comes to looking out for the interests of LIRR commuters and we hope his call for proactive safety testing will be heeded,” said Mark Epstein, chair of LIRRCC.