Metro-North Report Slams the Rail System as Unsafe

Metro-North derailment
The report says Metro-North leadership has "a deficient safety culture that has manifested itself in increased risk and reduced safety" Eric Thayer/Reuters

In a stinging rebuke, federal regulators on Friday slammed the Metro-North rail system as unsafe, days after a Metro-North worker in East Harlem was struck and killed by a train in the latest fatality for the troubled rail system.

A report from the Federal Railroad Administration, titled "Operation Deep Dive," excoriated Metro-North leadership for having "a deficient safety culture that has manifested itself in increased risk and reduced safety" on the giant commuter railroad, a workweek lifeline to Manhattan.

The report, the product of an emergency investigation that began in earnest this past December, faulted the railway for emphasizing "on-time performance" over safety. Commuters say frequent delays have become the norm.

Metro-North operates America's busiest stretch of commuter rail, but it has become a byword in recent years for poor service and high-profile accidents that have caused injuries and, sometimes, death to dozens of workers and passengers.

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