Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s meeting today with Joseph Giulietti, the new president of Metro-North Railroad, has been postponed until Monday due to the weather.
Giulietti, 61, a Hamden native who worked as a superintendent of rail operations for Metro-North Railroad until his departure for Tri-Rail in Florida in 1998, started his new job this week. While it might not be in his job description, part of his responsibilities will involve repairing the relationship the railroad has with one of its biggest customers: the state of Connecticut.
Malloy, along with state lawmakers, and Connecticut’s Congressional delegation have expressed concerns about the derailments, power outages, stranded passengers, and deaths the railroad experienced over the past year. There are some lawmakers who were so upset with Metro-North Railroad they’ve been talking about trying to find another company to manage Connecticut’s rails.
“I’m convinced that they understand this has become a crisis situation,” Malloy said Wednesday at an unrelated event. “They have to earn our respect and the respect of the folks they are serving.”
Malloy said they would look opening the bidding process when it comes to the New Haven to Springfield high-speed rail route by 2016. But he said opening up a bidding process for the New Haven line that goes into and out of New York would be complicated.
“We own the track in our system, they control the track in their system,” Malloy said.
He said that fact that they are going out to bid for the New Haven to Springfield rail route “is a clear shot across the bow.”
Metro-North Railroad is in the midst of two NTSB investigations into the Bridgeport and Bronx derailments, and just last month the Federal Railroad Administration began a “Deep Dive” review of its operations.
Marjorie Anders, a spokeswoman for Metro-North Railroad, has said Giulietti was looking forward to meeting with Malloy and officials in Connecticut. In the meantime, she said Metro-North is not waiting for the review to be completed before it implements improvements.
“Since December, improvements have been identified and are in the process of being made to the railroad’s infrastructure, its railcars and to its communication procedures,” Anders said. “The railroad is in the process of reviewing its schedules based upon current operating conditions.”
Giuletti started his new job on Monday. Malloy said he thinks Giuletti will be more “Connecticut-centric” because he comes from Connecticut.