Maloney Grills Federal Officials on PTC Implementation at Metro-North, Long Island Railroad
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Maloney Grills Federal Officials on PTC Implementation at Metro-North, Long Island Railroad

August 9, 2019


Particularly appreciate the reference you made earlier to the The Commuter Rail Passenger Safety Act which makes clear that RRIF funding thirty five thirty billion dollars of it is available to community railroads. So my question is Mr. Reyes, did you say earlier that New Jersey Transit’s gonna meet the 2018 deadline? We’ve met with New Jersey Transit as we have met with all the other commuter railroads in the country We were informed by New Jersey Transit that they believe they can meet the December 31st 2018 deadline however You mean the condition for extending that deadline or the deadline? No the deadline that is required. Have they accessed the RRIF financing Don’t believe they have have they? Has New Jersey Transit accessed any Railroad Rehabilitation Improvement Fund financing to accomplish PTC implementation, and if not how that how they’re gonna do it? But I believe New Jersey Transit has has applied and obtained funds I could get back to you on the exact amount I have a breakdown of some of the other railroads But not particular to New Jersey Transit. On those other railroads because my time is limited because votes have been called What’s the status of Long Island Railroad and Metro North? They did access, MTA did access a billion dollars of RRIF financing right what’s the story there? So okay, so MTA which is Long Island Railroad Metro North they applied for and obtained a RRIF loan of nine hundred sixty seven million dollars They are working diligently on and they did come in Also as as New Jersey Transit came in they have not said that they they have not asked for any extension the railroads especially the commuters we’re having them come back in even though we saw them in the in the first place because we’re working with them every month I mean we sometimes we have two and three railroads come in a day four hours of – for meetings of two hours or more and we’re trying to push them to Mr. Reyes are they gonna meet the deadline or not? This is February of 2018 right now we they’ve presented a plan that they say they will be able to make the deadlines. Do you believe that plan? I’m working with them. I’m not willing to give up on any railroad and we’ll push them to meet the deadlines. You’re not willing to give up on them does that mean you think they’re gonna meet the deadline or not? all the railroads that have come in to meet with us have told us they’re looking to meet the deadline we’re gonna work with them and do everything possible. Right next time you have one of those meetings you should mention the name Jimmy Lovell Whose a guy who got killed in Spuyten Duyvil on December 1st 2013. He got on the train in Cold Spring New York that morning to go work on the lighting at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree I know that because his wife works for me for years. His kids Jack and Hudson and Finn go to school with my kids. He doesn’t come home anymore because that preventable accident happened that day and that was four and a half years ago, and we’re ten years into this and we provided the financing. That’s why we take this seriously because we represent people who are losing their lives 300 deaths in the last few decades right? Thirty well sixty-eight hundred injuries and so sir It’s your job to make sure these railroads meet these deadlines We have provided the financing we have provided grants, so we are watching this really closely But we’re counting on you not to not give up on him but to hold their feet to the fire Do you understand why we’re a little impatient on this? 2017 was the first year that fines were assessed against the railroads that was a shot across the bow To the railroad to tell them we’re serious and we want them and we were going to push them to get this implemented And that’s why secretary Chow in December 27th 2017 issued a letter saying that we’re very serious about this And this is something that needs to happen And that’s why we’ve met with every single railroad 41 railroads and 45 days to tell them this is something that needs to happen now. All right well we appreciate your diligence on that. In the time I have left this the subject of grade crossing accidents came up It’s particularly interesting to me that that we don’t use that there’s no conversation of motion-activated cameras or sensors at grade crossings particularly in the conversation of PTC as important as PTC is right You know it’s not gonna do anything about a grade crossing accident. If there’s an object in the train. My Republican colleagues went through a horrific accident Just a few days ago an example of where you got a vehicle on the tracks. Is there any conversation about why we don’t use Inexpensive motion-activated camera technology. I mean my god operators of trains could have an app on their phone You can look at the weather on most high schools in America and see the camera It’s a it’s a free app you can access it on your phone the cameras are inexpensive Why on earth wouldn’t we maybe in conjunction with weather stations have have simple Digital camera technology maybe linked to motion detection? Which by the way you can put in your home for a hundred bucks or a ring you know Doorbell why wouldn’t we why wouldn’t we give operators the ability to To on their own phones Access that video as a way to see what’s ahead of them on the track so they can stop in time? Has anybody talked about that maybe Mr. Skoutelis? I’d ask for a quick response I’m sorry. I’ve not heard that discussion at all. I mean the typical Protection is a four way crossing gates to to Try to avert that kind of damage and an accident, but what you’re describing it No, I’m not familiar with that Thank You Mr. Chairman

2 Comments

  • Reply WPLU572 Trunked Radio November 3, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Is it good NJ transit didn't ask for the Federal money or do they want it to be taken?

  • Reply WPLU572 Trunked Radio November 3, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Nice job Rep. Maloney. Just a note, an odd thing about Metro North is how they use only cab signaling except for the very simple green/red light signals when coming from a siding or a spur of some kind or a yard. Anything other than the main line. Maybe this has to change too, but it's just an idea on my part. Also..if you talk with anyone linked with any of these commuter railroads again soon could you ask them if they are implementing GPS jammer locaters, blockers and detectors?

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