Tragedy often sparks change, and last year’s Bronx train derailment may ultimately lead to more and better sleep disorder screening for New York transit employees. In addition, new procedures will make it harder for sleep deprived employees to allow trains to get back into service.
According to Gannett’s Journal News, Metro-North in the Bronx plans to ask the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in December to approve hiring a company to provide sleep apnea screening in a pilot program. The train conductor presiding over last year’s derailment (which killed four and injured dozens) had “severe sleep apnea.”
Ken Valenti writes that the Federal Railroad Administration is writing rules to address sleep disorders and reduce fatigue in train engineers and other employees. “Our goal is to reduce the likelihood of accidents, injuries, and fatalities caused by fatigue,” FRA spokesman Michael England said in an email. He did not know when the rules would be completed or implemented.
Among the additional proposed changes was a system to protect workers put in place after track foreman Robert Luden was killed by a train on a track that had been taken out of service. The new system reportedly blocks a rail traffic controller from allowing trains back on an out-of-service track without entering a computer code given only to a supervisor at the work site.
Source: Gannett Company Inc