Metro-North fined $552,000 over past decade

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Metro-North, the nation’s second-largest commuter railroad, has been fined $552,000 over the past decade for safety violations and defects, Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Friday, the Associated Press reported.

MetroNorth crashThe former state attorney general said the fines point out need for improvement on the line, which is managed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and run through the Hudson Valley and into Connecticut.

There were 139 violations since 2004, Blumenthal said, citing data he received from the Federal Railroad Administration. He said the violations equate to five times as many safety defects than any other commuter railroad in the nation.

The report comes after Metro North had two derailments last year, including one in the Bronx that was coming from Poughkeepsie that left four passengers dead.

“While not every reported defect is a serious safety threat, the magnitude of violations is deeply troubling,” Blumenthal said, according to the AP. “The pertinence and practical importance of these defects is staggeringly clear. One of the most serious failings – broken or cracked joint bars, loose rail braces and missing bolts – almost certainly caused the Bridgeport derailment and collision, which resulted in more than 70 injuries and paralyzed the regional economy.”

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