Metro North worker killed by train

A Metro-North worker was struck and killed by a train in East Harlem early Monday, railroad spokesman Aaron Donovan said.

The employee was working on the tracks near East 106th Street and Park Avenue when he was hit by a Poughkeepsie-bound Hudson Line train that left Grand Central Terminal at 12:47 a.m., a Metro-North spokesman said.

The employee’s name was not immediately available. Donovan said that the employee’s next of kin is being notified.

“The National Transportation Safety Board has been called in and they will be handling the investigation,” Donovan said.

About 50 passengers were on board the train, the 12:47 a.m. from Grand Central Terminal bound for Poughkeepsie. The passengers were placed on another train and resumed their trip at 2:17 a.m.

The morning commute was not affected  by the accident and New Haven Line trains operated on or close to schedule during Monday’s morning rush.

Metro North officials launched a 100-day safety improvement program last week, after nearly a year plagued with deaths, injuries, service disruptions and other mishaps.

The commuter line’s woes began with last May’s derailment of a train in Bridgeport that injured 76 people.

Two weeks later, a train struck and killed a veteran foreman in West Haven when a rookie traffic controller mistakenly opened a section of track where the foreman was working.

A more rigorous inspection regimen adopted in the wake of that accident identified the need for significant repairs throughout the Metro-North system, which has resulted in pervasive delays.

In September, the railroad was again questioned when a 138,000-volt feeder cable in Mount Vernon disrupted electric train service for more than 13 days while a second cable was out of commission for repairs, leaving no backup power to drive trains.

In December, four people were killed in a derailment in the Bronx, N.Y. when an engineer dozed off, and a train careened into a sharp curve at 82 miles per hour where the speed limit was 30.

In late January, the entire Metro-North rail network came to a halt on a frigid night when a maintenance crew knocked out power to an auxiliary power system on the railroad’s centralized signalization computer.


Frank Juliano