Digest: Former MTA conductor charged for alleged disability fraud

News Wire Digest second section for Oct. 29: Del Mar asks for alternatives to safety fence; NTSB releases preliminary report in PATCO death
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More Thursday morning rail news:

Former NYC Transit conductor charged in disability case

A former New York City Transit subway conductor has been accused of grand larceny and related charges for receiving $114,000 in disability funds while working at other jobs. WCBS Radio reports Giovanni Seminerio was facing firing in December 2015 for disciplinary charges, but claimed an injury and began receiving disability benefits in May 2016. He continued to receive those funds even as he relocated and worked law enforcement jobs in other states, according to MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny.

Del Mar seeks alternatives to NCTD's safety fence
The City of Del Mar has asked the North County Transit District to consider alternatives to a safety fence along the Del Mar Bluffs and may take a formal policy position on the matter at its Nov. 7 meeting. The Coast News reports that, although the NCTD notes eight people have been killed in trespassing incidents since 2014, city council members said residents would express inconvenience at the fencing, or said other options need to be considered. The district asked the Surface Transportation Board to rule on its right to erect the fence and continue bluff stabilization work earlier this year, noting a conflict between rail regulations and those on coastal use [see “Digest: San Diego transit agency seeks STB ruling …,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 15, 2020].

NTSB releases preliminary report on fatal PATCO accident
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report into the death of a Port Authority Transit Corp. maintenance worker in Lindenwold, N.J., earlier this year, and says its ongoing investigation will look at procedures for operations at the yard where the fatality occurred, along with equipment storage and management oversight. The preliminary report, which states the circumstances of the accident but offers no information on probable cause, says the worker was killed between two railcars in an accident on July 26, 2020, at about 8:44 p.m. It occurred as a train operator uncoupled two cars from a six-car trainset being moved for storage; the accident victim was found between two sets of railcars on track 12E of the yard about 9:02 p.m., east of an employee walkway which was blocked by another stored trainset.

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