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Metro-North Gets Green Light On $8M For New Security Cameras On All Trains

The MTA has given the green light to spending $18 million to install video cameras on hundreds of Metro-North rail cars. The move to improve security and safety comes in the wake of the 2013 train crash that killed four people and hurt 61 others.
The MTA has given the green light to spending $18 million to install video cameras on hundreds of Metro-North rail cars. The move to improve security and safety comes in the wake of the 2013 train crash that killed four people and hurt 61 others. Photo Credit: File

Metro-North Commuter Railroad has gotten the go-ahead signal to spend close to $8 million on cameras for all of its M7 cars.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board approved spending for the project, which will outfit 334 rail cars, at a meeting last week, according to MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan.

The contract was awarded to Bombardier Transportation, Inc., a Canadian company, according to mta.info.

Metro-North has 1,256 pieces of rolling stock, the MTA said.

The inward-  and outward-facing cameras, which have already been tested, will be trained on each train engineer’s control area, as well as track, wayside (the area along the tracks), and passenger areas, Donovan said.

The intent is to both aid investigations and to deter crime, the MTA said.

The suburban rail service, which is still struggling with the aftermath of 2013’s devastating derailment in the Bronx, is governed by the MTA, a public authority of New York state.

The MTA is supporting Metro-North’s efforts to comply with recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board following the crash.

The accident killed four people and injured 61 others.

Among the victims was Metro-North mechanic and Ossining resident Sammy Rivera, who was traveling with his son, according to a report by lohud.com.

Rivera, a 41-year-old former lacrosse player, was left a quadriplegic, lohud.com reported. He lost his $85,000 a year salary and sued Metro-North in 2014.

But, according to lohud.com, the railroad argued that it was not liable for Rivera’s injuries because he was using a courtesy guest pass at the time of the crash.

The crash caused $9 million in damage and was the deadliest such train accident since a subway derailment in lower Manhattan in 1991.

According to multiple media reports about the crash, the train’s engineer, William Rockefeller, had dozed off at the controls near the Spuyten Duyvil station.

The Manhattan-bound train, which was going 82 mph, went off the tracks at a curve. The post speed limit was 50 mph.

In 2014, the NTSB released its final report, concluding that while PTA (positive train control) could have prevented the accident, the cause was likely Rockefeller’s inattention, media reports said.

Later, doctors diagnosed Rockefeller with sleep apnea and the NTSB report faulted Metro-North for not screening workers for the disorder.  It also hit the Federal Railroad Administration for not requiring the tests, according to multiple media reports.

This past December, lohud.com reported that Rockefeller will receive a lifetime disability pension of $3,200 a month in addition to his federal railroad retirement pension.

Rockefeller had sued Metro-North for $10 million, claiming that it should have installed an automatic braking system, lohud.com’s report said.

Meanwhile, lohud.com reported in 2015 that Metro-North had settled with the assistant conductor, Wallkill resident Maria Herbert, for $835,000.

Herbert had claimed she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and had been unable to work, since the accident, the lohud.com story said.

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