Thursday, December 11, 2008

Metrolink Chief's Conduct Before and After Crash

Article in the L.A. Times -- Crash thrusts Metrolink chief into the unwelcome limelight, by Jeff Gottlieb.  Here's an excerpt:

He is one of those well-paid technocrats who makes sure things run smoothly, someone few people have heard of but so many depend on. Then something happens, and that cloak of invisibility disappears.

For David R. Solow, that moment occurred Sept. 12, when a Metrolink train crashed into a freight train in Chatsworth. Twenty-five people died and 135 were injured in the worst rail accident in modern state history. Suddenly Solow, chief executive of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, which operates Metrolink, was much closer to the spotlight than he cared to be.

No member of Metrolink's board will say publicly that Solow's $220,000-a-year job is in jeopardy, but his performance is being scrutinized as never before. The board has appointed an 11-member panel composed mainly of academics and industry experts to examine the railroad's safety and operating procedures. The board also approved a review of Metrolink's emergency preparedness and crisis communications plans.


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