The afternoon of February 11th, a locomotive was spotted passing across Flushing Avenue after sounding its horn. It was noticed that the signals on both sides of the road did not sound or flash. Personnel also did not hop off the train to stop traffic, as is required at crossings without signals. The incident was reported to all local elected officials and passed on to the Federal Railroad Administration for investigation.
Meanwhile, the NY Times reported on February 14th that former immigrant employees of NY&A are claiming in a lawsuit that they were discriminated against, threatened with deportation and told not to cooperate with federal investigators about the 2015 Maspeth Avenue train-truck crash, among other things. CURES Chair Mary Parisen-Lavelle commented, “We knew from the FRA Focused Safety Review on the July 8, 2015 Maspeth crash that the New York & Atlantic Railway was violating the Transfer Agreement and laws, and cutting corners on personnel, training, and safety. But this New York Times story shows a previously unimagined depth of unsafe and inhumane operations involving non-union labor working with state assets all over Long Island. MTA-LIRR should never have renewed the Transfer Agreement with NYAR. Governor Cuomo should order the MTA to terminate it.”