The $900 billion COVID-19 funding package President Trump signed Sunday contains some $4 billion for the MTA, which includes Metro-North Railroad. Proposed layoffs and drastic service cuts can be shelved, for now. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi about what the funding means and more.
First, the Federal Railroad Administration on Tuesday announced there is now full implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) technology on all required freight and passenger routes across the country, meeting a December 31 deadline. Metro-North and Long Island Railroad announced December 23 they had completed full implementation. Through PTC, the trains automatically communicate in real time with central dispatching offices – sharing information on train position, speed and the actions of the train engineer. If a train is traveling too fast, the system automatically takes control of the train to slow it down while alerting the engineer. The system is designed to reduce the potential for human error or, for example, derailments caused by a train traveling too fast into a curve, like in the fatal Metro-North derailment in December 2013 in the Bronx neighborhood of Spuyten Duyvil.