“It kills you in the budget,” said Joseph Giulietti, who retired as president of the railroad in August, after overseeing the turnaround following the derailments. “We spend a hell of a lot more than we normally would… It limits what projects you can take on because it takes a long time to train and qualify personnel, and you have to dedicate personnel to safety first.”
The track workers’ union head, Chris Silvera, secretary-treasurer of Local 808 of the Teamsters, says it’s no fault of track workers, who once occupied the bottom rung among Metro-North’s workers when it came to contracts, that they’re making good money doing their job. “This is what happens when you allow the infrastructure to deteriorate,” Silvera said.
“It’s a tough life,” [Chief engineer Chris] Hayden said. “Those guys make a lot of money but they don’t have a home life. We’re out here and it’s a little chilly but if we start ripping this up Friday night and you run into a thunderstorm at 9 a.m. on Saturday you don’t go home, you work right through it.”
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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An article in the Westchester Rockland Journal-News provides details about Metro-North's rising overtime costs for expanded track work. Overtime for track workers has jumped from 204,000 hours in 2012 to almost 600,000 hours in 2017. The situation is exacerbated by the fact "hundreds of jobs in the track department were left vacant." The article details the huge sums some of the workers have earned by working huge amounts of overtime -- track workers are not subject to FRA Hours of Service -- but having worked plenty of overtime, I consider it blood money. Not fun. It causes other problems for Metro-North too. From the article: