Pol Calls for Federal Review of LIRR Safety

LIRR Train Driver
A lone passenger boards a Long Island Rail Road train in Long Beach (Joe Abate).

Federal examiners should review the Long Island Rail Road to ensure it doesn’t have the same safety issues that led to a fatal Metro-North train derailment four months ago, a New York lawmaker said.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling on the Federal Railroad Authority (FRA) to start an investigation into the LIRR a week after the FRA, in a report on the Bronx train crash that killed four in December, revealed that a “culture of safety” was lacking at Metro-North.

The LIRR is the busiest commuter railroad in North America, carrying more than 300,000 riders each weekday, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which also operates Metro-North, the second busiest.

Schumer noted that the LIRR has a good safety record, but that there have been “troubling incidents” in recent years and that Metro-North also had a near-flawless track record before a string of serious accidents.

The FRA report revealed a wide-spread lack of concern for safety procedures at Metro-North. Schumer said the FRA should use additional resources passed by Congress to ensure that these problems have not also spread to the LIRR.