Safety vs on time

Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

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RearOfSignal
Posts: 2546
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:31 pm

Re: Safety vs on time

Post by RearOfSignal » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:58 pm

Haven't we been saying this for years? MNR has added so many trains to the schedule that it has become impossible to maintain the infrastructure. Yet, the passengers were happy with all these added trains. MNR sold itself out to the passengers for the sake of customer approval ratings and OTP. Now they're paying for it. One train breaks down and the yard is empty because every train is out on the main, so the train gets combined or annulled. It was all an illusion to look good on paper. I could go on for a while describing all these things, but it would be pointless.

I can only hope that this report brings actual change.
Hurry up and wait at the signal!

ThirdRail7
Posts: 4040
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:07 pm

Re: Safety vs on time

Post by ThirdRail7 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:49 pm

RearOfSignal wrote:Haven't we been saying this for years? MNR has added so many trains to the schedule that it has become impossible to maintain the infrastructure. Yet, the passengers were happy with all these added trains. MNR sold itself out to the passengers for the sake of customer approval ratings and OTP. Now they're paying for it. One train breaks down and the yard is empty because every train is out on the main, so the train gets combined or annulled. It was all an illusion to look good on paper. I could go on for a while describing all these things, but it would be pointless.

I can only hope that this report brings actual change.


What you said is the bottom line. I said as much in the All Trains Stopped thread:

ThirdRail7 wrote:
Saugatuck wrote:Okay, since no one else seems aware that the emperor has no clothes, allow me to announce that...the emperor has no clothes.
This means that it appears, perhaps, that we are looking at systemic failure: failure to follow established safety procedures, failure to maintain equipment, infrastructure, and yes, yes, even software systems.
"Oh, but Saugatuck, these are just isolated incidents that could happen to any large, complex organization that must deal with old equipment, grouchy passengers, schlocky politicians, etcetera. This is not an indication of an organization in serious trouble. Not at all."

Bridgeport, West Haven, the garbage train, the Mt Vernon power issue, SDV, last night's catenary, tonight's software failure. You cannot say that these are but isolated, tragic, unrelated...incidents/acts of God/unfortunate occurrences but nothing indicative of structural, institutional failure. Come on, really? After 30 years of pretty damn good operations (especially 2000-2010) all of this in less than one year? No one else thinks there's something going on here beyond coincidence?


If I may, the terms "power outage" and "software glitch" are quite vague. If there has been an official cause listed for the outage, I've missed it. That being said, this incident may be the result of outside interference that led to the failure, much like the Con-Ed incident. I also must have missed the official cause for the freight train derailment (and I just tried again..perhaps I'm using bad search parameters,) so it may not be related to any performance by Metro-North. SD was an unfortunate incident but it was the first in over 100 years of negotiating that curve and the first incident with the employee involved. I'd hardly call that a cultural problem or a systematic failure.

The only common thread is what you and the press has mentioned. For 30 years, you've had a good run as the infrastructure ages. Do you really think 100 year old catenary is a good thing? It is being replaced slowly but surely as are bridges and roadbeds. However, the demands the passengers place on "more service and less fares" have finally caught up at a time when a lot of the seasoned veterans are retiring en mass.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: You get what you (don't) pay for, and when asked to ante up, the groans come out.

Along those lines, who would willingly pay more, for less service while Metro-North blitzes their infrastructure? If Metro-North said "we're going to cut back on service and we will not operate any more express trains while we replace every component of the railroad on a given track (like they were doing during the Fairfield incident and the Con-Ed incident), would more people gripe or applaud?

So far, they've griped.

You can try to have it both ways, but it doesn't work in the real world. Time and age has finally caught up to Metro-North.



Ok. Now that the press has published this report, the politicians have postured, the passengers panicked and that stalker of a council member has Pontificated, will Metro-North finally give every one a healthy dose of reality and say "give us money and time and will fix this...but we can not operate this amount of service any longer."

If they do, will everyone that clamoured for more service and their expresses finally take the cotton that is in their ears, put it in their mouths and let Metro-North start railroading?
I want my road foreman!

NH2060
Posts: 1512
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:44 pm

Re: Safety vs on time

Post by NH2060 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:15 pm

^^This.

As bad as MNR's own faults are (and boy are they damaging) I sure hope Schumer, Blumenthal -and whoever else would love to jump at the chance to cry foul- are reading these findings thoroughly. After all the bickering and pestering from them and others more or less forced MNR's hand to "perform" without much, if any, regard for doing it right. And now it's come to this..

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