Reporting Fran Schneidau
WESTPORT, CT (WCBS 880/AP) - Metro-North Railroad is apologizing and promising reforms after passengers last month were stuck inside a disabled train during the heat wave.
WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau On The Story
The railroad released a report Tuesday into the July 22 disruption in Westport. Metro-North said the train lost electricity because of damage from sagging wire and said temperatures in some of the train cars exceeded 90 degrees.
The report says train crews opened some doors for ventilation, but customers called 911 for help, removed emergency windows to get fresh air and left the train and were walking on the tracks.
Some customers were delayed more than two hours and 17 complained of heat effects.
Metro-North says it will reduce train speeds more in extreme heat, make more frequent announcements during disruptions and test new procedures with an exercise drill.
In its report, Metro-North also acknowledges another critical factor, communications between the railroad and passengers aboard the sweltering train, left a lot to be desired.
Connecticut St. Sen. Toni Boucher, ranking member on the transportation committee, says she’s pleased the railroad is taking this seriously.
But she told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau, “This incident was disappointing in my view because post-September 11th, we had assumed that these kind of communication procedures were in place.”
Metro-North’s Margie Anders says while train personnel have all the latest technology available to them, they should have relayed information to passengers as to the ongoing efforts to rescue them from the stalled train.
“What we’re going to try to do is to get our employees to at least say that they are working on it. We’re not sure when it’s going to happen. We’re not sure how it’s going to happen. But I can tell you I’ve been in communication and they are working on it,” she says.
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