U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today urged MTA to implement immediately an urgent recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to require redundant signal protection, such as shunting, that would have prevented the death of Metro-North track foreman Robert Luden, who was killed May 28, near West Haven. Luden, 52, was killed by a train while working on a track that was supposed to be out of service for a construction project.
"The technology NTSB urgently recommended today offers a necessary safeguard that is proven to save lives," Blumenthal said. "Without question, MTA should adopt it immediately. The fact that such critical, effective technology is not already required, however, exposes a larger problem, and I will use Wednesday's rail safety hearing to seek expert advice on whether this technology should be required by law. The cost of requiring and installing this technology pales in comparison to the cost in lives lost and injuries sustained that we will continue to incur if we fail to act."
Blumenthal is a leading advocate for rail safety, and, on Wednesday, he will chair a hearing of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation entitled "Staying on Track: Next Steps in Improving Passenger and Freight Rail Safety." Among those testifying will be Connecticut Transportation Commissioner James Redeker.