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Cuomo Presses For Rail-Crossing Safety After Bedford Hills Collision

Investigators at the scene at the train crossing where the collision occurred Wednesday afternoon in Bedford Hills.
Investigators at the scene at the train crossing where the collision occurred Wednesday afternoon in Bedford Hills. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo renewed his call for improving safety at railroad grade crossings following Wednesday's collision involving a car and a Metro-North train at a Bedford Hills intersection.

“There was another accident at a grade crossing where a Metro-North train struck a disabled car on the tracks in Bedford Hills," Cuomo said in a Thursday statement.

Cuomo also referenced last year's collision at a crossing in Valhalla, which killed the vehicle's driver and five train passengers.

"These accidents are all too frequent and devastating – I remember as one of the first on site at last year’s gruesome crash in Valhalla that killed one person in a vehicle, five passengers on the train, and injured dozens."

Cuomo added that he has reached out to the federal government for safety assistance.

"My administration has contacted the federal government, charged with approving grade modifications, and informed them that we must go forward immediately with new design features that create safer crossings. We will explore all potential options: motion detectors, painting danger areas on the street, voice commands, public information campaigns, etc."

Cuomo then noted that he has asked the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which is Metro-North's parent company, to work on plans. He is also seeking to get federal movement on the approvals processes within weeks.

Grade crossings are a chronic problem going back to the beginnings of the railroad system in America," said Tom Prendergast, chairman and CEO of the MTA, in an accompanying statement. "No matter, it is our problem to solve – and we will."

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