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Task force could make trains faster

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has formed a new task force, assigning them the job of ending what the MTA describes as “unnecessary” train slowdowns across the city.

Led by former U.S. Federal Aviation Administration head Jane Garvey, the task force is set to examine what is causing trains to slow on the subway, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road systems.

They’ll then be asked to find solutions to get trains back up to speeds, including an investigation into restrictions and signal timer accuracy, to make it work.

Subways operate on set speed limits on various parts of the tracks, many of those limits set more than 50 years ago.

Since then, however, car design and track geometry have improved, the MTA said in a release. That allows cars to maintain stability and safe operation at higher speeds.

But the limits have not reflected in those design evolutions.

Another issue involves the subway’s signaling system, with a “significant” number of signals miscalibrated, meaning trains are slowing down and stopping more often then they need to.

Joining Garvey on the task force are five people connected to the MTA, including New York City Transit head Andy Byford, as well as former Federal Railroad Administration chief safety officer Robert Lauby, Transportation Workers Union Local 100 president Tony Utano, and Dominick Servedio, executive chairman of the transportation engineering company STV Group.

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