WASHINGTON, CT— Representatives Jim Himes (CT-4) and Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) this week called on Metro-North to perform an official investigation into the events of Friday, July 22 when trains became inoperable during the afternoon commute and passengers were left stranded on sweltering trains with little information and no safe exit. The representatives are urging Metro-North to establish a standard operating procedure for responding to train outages that includes specific protocol for communicating with passengers.

Click here to read the letter Himes and DeLauro sent to Metro-North officials.

“While incidents like this illustrate the dire need to invest in our transportation infrastructure, especially trains in the Northeast, we absolutely must uphold the highest standards of passenger safety,” said Himes. “I appreciate that Metro-North has apologized to passengers, but we need procedures in place to ensure future travelers remain safe and well-informed.”

“Until we complete the long overdue replacement of railcars and electrical systems on the Metro-North line we need to ensure that we have policies and procedures in place for future problems,” DeLauro said. “These kinds of delays and miscommunication are not only inconvenient, they can be dangerous. I will keep working, along with my colleagues, to improve our rail infrastructure and ensure that commuters can reach their destination safely and on time.”

From the letter:

Reports from passengers aboard these trains are alarming.  Commuters were stranded in train cars with no power as their surrounding temperatures reached over 100 degrees. Meanwhile, they received no information from train officials, leaving them confused, helpless, and, given the weather conditions, in potential physical danger… With no incoming information from MTA or Metro-North officials, several individuals who were able to pry open train doors exited trains directly onto the tracks.


…the blame can only be placed on outdated rail infrastructure that has that has yet to be replaced.  But the treatment of passengers and the lack of communication between Metro-North employees and commuters cannot be tolerated. 


… In addition to reinforcing and possibly reevaluating current practices, we strongly recommend that you, the leadership of the MTA and Metro-North, consider codifying a set of standardized practices that commuters can come to expect should an unforeseen emergency arise.