Metro-North worker fatally struck by train in New York City

Investigative reporter Jim Hoffer has the story
March 10, 2014 3:29:44 PM PDT
An MTA Metro-North Railroad employee died after being struck by a train in Manhattan early Monday.

The worker, identified as 58-year-old James Romansoff, was struck by a train at 12:54 a.m. while working on tracks at Park Avenue and East 106th Street.

Romansoff was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The Hudson Line train departed Grand Central Terminal at 12:47 a.m. en route to Poughkeepsie. Approximately 50 passengers on the train were safely moved to another train and resumed their trip at 2:17 a.m.

The accidents and fatalities keep coming. This time a rail electrical worker, James Romansoff of Yonkers was trying to restore power to tracks in East Harlem when a north-bound Hudson Line train struck and killed him.

Last May, a track foreman was also killed by a Metro-North train in Connecticut.

In response to that fatality, the NTSB released an urgent safety recommendation calling on the railroad to immediately implement redundant signal protection for track workers.

Eyewitness News doesn't know if these added protections were in place Monday morning when the eight-year rail veteran from Yonkers was killed.

"You didn't need to routinely hear workers being killed as they worked on train tracks at Metro-North. And now we've had two in recent history. Something is wrong," said Senator Charles Schumer, (D) New York.

This latest fatality follows last December's derailment in the Bronx which killed four people and injured 71. Eight months earlier, a collision in Connecticut injured 76 people, some critically. It was believed that this rash of accidents had put Metro-North under intense scrutiny, but apparently not enough.

"The federal inspectors are not doing their job. They need to find out what's wrong and do it immediately," said Senator Richard Blumenthal, (D) Connecticut.

It's still unclear who's at fault for this latest worker death. Was the train on the wrong track or was the worker? And what safety measures could have been in place to prevent yet another Metro-North death?

"There is almost no explanation for the series of accidents that have occurred. If there were just one or just two you might say, well, sometimes bad things happen but not with so many," Senator Schumer said.

The incident is under investigation by Metro-North and the MTA Police Department.

The NTSB is also opening an investigation into the incident. A team of three investigators en route to New York City.

Metro-North serves 281,000 riders a day in New York and Connecticut.