Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to install the safety system on Friday. He said that the money will go towards anti-collision devices which can mitigate for human error and unnecessary speed on the 1,455 rail cars and 588 miles of track which make up the suburban rail lines, writes Carl Campanile for the New York Post.
New safety system to prevent collisions and derailments
“This is a very big development,” said Cuomo, who gave his thanks to the New York congressional delegation and MTA chairman Tom Prendergast for their assistance in obtaining the financing. “It is the state-of-the- art desired safety system.”
Train-on-train collisions and derailments caused by excessive speed will both be tackled by the system. The 2013 Metro-North derailment in the Bronx was one reason for concerns over safety. “This provides a level of safety that is second to none,” Prendergast said. “It takes over in the event that an engineer, he or she, doesn’t do their job.”
The technology automatically makes trains in dangerous situations slow down if their operator does not. WiFi signals from a series of towers are used to control the brake mechanism.
Governor Cuomo reappoints MTA chairman
Cuomo was speaking to the Association for a Better New York at the Grand Hyatt, and also took the opportunity to announce that he would be reappointing Prendergast to the full six-year term as MTA chairman after his current term expires in June.
Prendergast took on the role of MTA boss in January 2013 after his predecessor Joe Lhota stepped down in order to run for mayor. Prendergast has previously worked in various transit management posts both inside and outside the MTA, including stints as the chief executive of New York City Transit, responsible for the running of the city’s subways and buses, and the LIRR.
Cuomo stated that Prendergast has proved himself to be the right man for the top position at the MTA. “I’ve worked with Tom during exciting things and on some frightening situations,” the governor said, a reference to the tragic accidents to which the two men have had to respond. “It gives you a sense of the character of the man.”