Feds: Metro-North Trains Must Have 2 Crew Members in Certain Speed Zones After Crash

The federal government has issued an emergency order requiring Metro-North to install two crew members at the controls of trains in areas with significant speed restrictions, following a deadly crash on a curve where the limit was 30 mph.

The order from the Department of Transportation comes five days after a train broke apart on a sharp curve in the Bronx, sending cars sliding toward the Harlem River. Four people were killed, dozens were injured and the train was later found to have been going 82 mph.

The DOT said its emergency order "will help ensure that other Metro-North trains travel at appropriate, safe speeds."

It requires the agency to immediately place two crew members at the controls of trains traveling through areas where the speed limit changes by 20 mph or more.

Meanwhile, Metro-North must provide the DOT's Federal Railroad Administration with a list of those areas, and must make improvements to its signal systems to better warn engineers of approaching speed limit changes.

Metro-North must have a plan for making those improvements by Dec. 31, the DOT said.

The MTA said in a statement that it is working with the federal government to review policies and procedures and added "we will of course comply with whatever requirements the FRA directs us to follow."

The lawyer for the engineer in Sunday's crash has said he experienced a hypnotic-like "daze" before realizing something was wrong and hitting the brakes.

The NTSB has not ruled on a cause for the speeding train, and has not commented on the engineer's condition just before the derailment.

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