Monday, April 21, 2014

Senator! Train approaching! Stand back!

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Thank goodness he wasn’t injured or killed, but U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) needs to practice what he preaches about train safety.

Video from KHON2 shows Blumenthal in the midst of a press conference on train safety at Metro-North’s Milford, Conn., Northeast Corridor station on a narrow platform—where he is standing directly on the bright yellow platform-edge warning strip as he is being introduced. Blumenthal had to stop a poster from blowing away as a non-stop Amtrak train, horn blaring and ditch lights flashing, rolls by at a good clip.

“Safety as you know is paramount . . . . .” says the man introducing Blumenthal, but he is cut off in mid-sentence.

Sen. Blumenthal has been calling for a safety overhaul at Metro-North, releasing on the same day as his nearly fateful press conference what he says is data on $552,000 in fines incurred by Metro-North over the past decade for safety violations and defects.

Metro-North would not comment to local news outlets regarding Blumenthal’s claims, but did say that he did not ask for permission to conduct the press conference at an active train station nor request any safety protection.

Senator, next time, please “Watch the Gap,” and heed CSX’s advice to “Play It Safe Around Railroad Tracks.”