WASHINGTON – US Senator Charles Schumer
Thursday announced a push to increase the number of federal railroad bridge
safety specialists nationwide.
He said there are only seven specialists that oversee audits for the Federal
Railroad Administration. In New York, there is only one specialist assigned
to over 3,000 privately-owned train bridges and that person is responsible
for bridges in 13 other states as well, the senator said.
In the Hudson Valley alone, there are 307 privately-owned railroad bridges.
Given the very small staff and heavy caseload, he said it is nearly impossible
for bridges with potential safety problems to be reviewed by federal specialists.
Schumer said by adding $1 million to the FRA budget, the federal agency
could double the number of inspectors, and increase its ability to audit
more bridges each year.