Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Metrolink moves to take over supervision of engineers, conductors in wake of deadly crash

June 26, 2009 | 12:58 pm

Metrolinkcrash-francine-orr As an outgrowth of the deadly Metrolink crash in Chatsworth last fall, the Southern California commuter rail moved today to dramatically change that way its trains are operated by taking control over engineers and conductors who had long been provided by a subcontractor.

The board of the five-county regional service voted unanimously to begin what would be a yearlong transition from the subcontractor, Connex Railroad. But it also agreed to hear proposals from Amtrak.

Metrolink officials essentially had no choice but to act, in part because Connex -- which had been accused of lax oversight of engineers and conductors -- no longer wanted the job and other rail service companies balked at accepting the potential liability for any Metrolink accidents.

In the Chatsworth crash, two trains collided, killing 25 people and injuring 135 -- many of whom have filed multimillion-dollar lawsuits against the railroad and Connex.

-- Jean Merl

Photo credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times