Year after derailment, commuter railroad serving NYC chooses contractor for apnea testing

A year after a deadly derailment that was blamed on an engineer's sleepiness, the nation's second-largest commuter rail line has chosen a contractor to test for sleep apnea.

New York City's Metro-North Railroad said Monday that if the contract is approved, its 410 engineers and about 20 trainees will be screened for the disorder.

Any engineers recommended for additional screening will be referred to the contractor, Persante Health Care Inc. of Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Persante will provide training and equipment for an at-home, overnight sleep test.

If the test indicates a need, employees will be sent to a sleep specialist for additional testing or treatment.

Federal regulators concluded the derailment in the Bronx was caused by the engineer's apnea. The railroad had no screening program for sleep disorders.