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Metro North Operators Will Drive And Read The Paper If They Want To

Riding Metro North later today? If so, do yourself a favor and hole up in the Bar Car and/or sit quietly while minding your own damn business, whether or not you suspect the driver is doing the crossword puzzle while driving, which he or she probably most definitely is. After a video shot by a passenger last week showing “a Metro North engineer engrossed in a newspaper while operating a rush hour train” resulted in the guy being suspended pending an investigation, fellow railroad workers, rather than making a big show of proving they don’t all catch up on the news while driving, have responded by more or less telling riders, “We don’t come to where you work and slap the dick out of your mouth.”

Days after a train engineer was suspended following being caught on camera reading a newspaper while at the controls, some windows that look into the operators’ cabs have been covered up. Posters, including a “Today in New York” advertisement, were seen taped to the windows of some driving cabs on Metro-North trains Saturday. While the MTA condemns driving while distracted, MTA officials say there is nothing wrong with covering windows.

Apparently “the company does not have a policy that either prohibits or encourages train crew members from papering over or otherwise obscuring interior cab windows.”

Windows on Some Train Cabs Covered After Engineer Caught on Video Reading Paper [NBCNY via DI]

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84 Responses to “Metro North Operators Will Drive And Read The Paper If They Want To”

  1. quagmiressock says:

    Reading takes his eyes off the track more than if he was text messaging…like the text messaging engineer in LA that killed 25 people. Don't worry about anything Metro North has this all under control.

  2. Hakuna Matata Guy says:

    Bullmoose

  3. Dave&Charles Koch says:

    And this is why we have no regard for the 99%.

  4. guest says:

    He was probably just waiting for a door light…whatever that means

  5. ILoveLamp says:

    I don't see the problem here. All they have to do is press the big green button to make the choo-choo go, and the big red button to make it stop. It's not like they have to steer, or parallel park, or pass that geezer in the Oldsmobile going 40 in a 55. As you were, Mr. Engineer. Carry on.

  6. guest says:

    Fuck all of you regardless.

    -FORMER metro north "do you know who my father is" rider
    http://dealbreaker.com/2011/06/well-educated-bnp-

  7. Nocturnal says:

    I only need one hand to operate my computer.

  8. Risky Rick says:

    Whatever….I should be monitoring risk for his pension plan, but I'm also reading the paper

  9. James J. Kilpatrick says:

    "Shana, they bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash."

  10. Abe_Froman_ says:

    The thing pretty much drives itself… he didnt even swerve

  11. Guest says:

    We cover our windows with magazine pages to block all the distractions outside.

    -SEC Staffer

  12. PermaGuestII says:

    [BEEP] "Attention at… Westport. The… Six… Forty… One… Train to… Grand Central Terminal… Is operating… Approximately… Ten Minutes Late… Due to a… New York Post delivery failure at…. Bridgeport." [BEEP]

  13. VandelayCapital says:

    Is Mama Mia still playing at the Oakdale?

  14. guest says:

    If the Metro-North is headed towards New Haven at 5:40 at 35 mph, and a baby stroller rolls across the tracks at the next crossing at 5:48, at precisely what time will the engineer realize he's done this sudoku before?

  15. lights on says:

    yes.

  16. _guest says:

    I'm going to have to side with the train engineer on this one.

    It's usually some jackass trying to kill themselves or some idiot trying to save five minutes on his drive and ignores the flashing red lights home that causes train accidents.

  17. rider says:

    I've been riding the metro north for years. Posters in the windows are nothing new. The guy who took the video is a prick

  18. Roddy Piper says:

    Ive been in my office looking at cleave on CNBC all day and haven't covered my windows

    -guy who doesnt have access to large posters

  19. Jack Black says:

    So what else can I tell you about the Second Grade.

  20. Joe Biden says:

    If we make it too tough on the engineers, Metro-North will start losing the top grads at MIT etc. to Silicon Valley. Then what, drive to work?

  21. Bo D. says:

    I have no problem with someone who has a largely automated job reading at the same time. I just then don't want to hear about the "need" for the position when cuts are made. A job either required attention or not.

  22. One of the Bob's says:

    You know what the problem is here Bill? It's that YOU haven't challenged him enough. That guy is a straight shooter with upper management written all over him!!

  23. La Bron says:

    That guy knocking back a cold one looks like Aubrey McClendon.

  24. guest says:

    a la UBS Risk Management

  25. guest says:

    next some uppity "customer" is gonna tell us we can't drive the trains after a few wallbangers. what the fuck is the world coming to?

    –mta "safe engineer" award winner, september 2009

  26. Guest says:

    In my day we didn't read the newspaper, we just knocked out little bitches like Pete Campbell on the reg.

    – nostalgic former MTA conductor

  27. John Bingham says:

    I did the original viral video of the Metro North engineer reading the paper (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCkE0Br9k4g
    ), and I have been taking photos of the cover up (http://www.flickr.com/photos/80446410@N05/ )(the photos were while I was being followed, video-taped and threatened that my photos were not authorized and they could take my phone if they saw me take a picture. So the photos are not very good). I also talked with a Metro North spokesperson who does not agree that NY trains are at any special risk of terror. This whole fiasco is an illustration of people setting safety policies based on protecting the image, and not the reality, of safety. Terrorists are stubborn and don't change methods, regions or targets. They like NY, IEDs and the rails. We have to get ready, especially now with our troops coming home. And even though an engineer might not be able to save himself or all his train, he can save the next one and that is still saving 800 lives.

  28. John Bingham says:

    I contend that the entire problem is Metro North policies including the deliberate failure to follow up on reports of safety violations AS A MATTER OF POLICY, poor safety monitoring (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-15/metro-north-monitors-watched-websites-not-trains-audit-finds.html), nepotism (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/official-confirms-metro-north-big-shots-relatives-payroll-article-1.1097370?localLinksEnabled=false), and allowing employees to cover up windows (http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/metro-north-engineer-windows-covered–158326065.html).

    Please note that I experienced a pattern of discouraging, ignoring and retaliating against my attempts to report minor health and safety violations, before I got motivated to get up and observe the engineer while he was driving, and what I recorded was the first time I ever looked into an engineer's cabin. I reported the engineer to the conductor who was standing 3 feet from the behavior of reading the paper while driving. Of course, nothing was done about it and the next day he showed up for work thinking nothing is wrong.

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