NTSB urges backup to protect track crews
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- The National Transportation Safety Board has issued an "urgent safety recommendation" after a Metro-North track foreman was struck and killed by a passenger train last month in Connecticut.
The agency urged the railroad Monday to provide backup protection for track maintenance crews who now depend on train dispatchers.
Fifty-two-year-old Robert Luden was killed May 28 in West Haven. The NTSB said Luden had requested the track section be taken out of service for maintenance. That was done, but the NTSB said it was placed back in service too soon by a student traffic controller who didn't have the required approval.
A Metro-North spokeswoman said the railroad has received the recommendation and "will implement safety improvements as quickly as possible." She said Metro-North has tightened its verbal procedures and is working on a technological backup to improve safety.