Legislators discussing Metro-North Railroad with MTA brass

By Martin B. Cassidy

Legislators pressed Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti to discuss his knowledge of what problems have been central to derailments, service disruptions, and track conditions in Hartford on Thursday.

“Where I want to be in a year is be able to defend everything you’ve done and that your actions have spoken louder than words,”  Leone said. “I am in a no win position because I can’t defend you or your organization in terms of the service being provided…”

Giulietti and Prendergast appeared before the state General Assembly’s transportation committee Thursday afternoon to field questions how they are grappling with the need to improve safety and reliability on the New Haven Line after a terrible 2013.

Giulietti recapped many of steps taken since the derailment of a train Bridgeport and collision with another in May including an $18 million to repair tracks from Greenwich to New Haven and work towards establishing a more reliable schedule this spring based on current speed limits and further efforts to improve the system.

“We are committed in the short term to making the right decisions to point us back to where we were,” Giulietti said. “But to say that would happen in six months or year would be a little bit of hubris…”

State Rep. David Scribner, R-Danbury said that lawmakers and concerned commuters view the state of Connecticut’s lack of a seat on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The state is 30 years into a 60 year contract with Metro-North Railroad for which the state of Connecticut pays 65 percent of the cost to operate the railroad.

“One of the things that has often been questioned is a long and fairly complex contract and our ability to have a true voice in the process of decisions being made by Metro-North,” Scribner said.