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Report: More Than 7,000 Metro-North Defects Found Over 10 Years

Aftermath of the fatal Metro-North Railroad derailment, as seen from Chopper 880 on Dec. 2, 2013. (credit: Tom Kaminski/WCBS 880)

Aftermath of the fatal Metro-North Railroad derailment, as seen from Chopper 880 on Dec. 2, 2013. (credit: Tom Kaminski/WCBS 880)

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A newspaper reports that federal inspectors found more than 7,100 defects and deficiencies in the Metro-North Railroad over the last decade, but records show regulators launched an investigation only after two high-profile accidents last year.

In an open records request by Hearst Media, federal inspection reports between 2003 and 2013 show inspectors last year found broken joint bars and loose or missing rail braces that hold tracks to the ties in Bridgeport, Norwalk, New Haven and Stamford. They found numerous instances of passenger emergency equipment not being in place in New Haven and Stamford.

Records show Metro-North was faulted in 2013 for not revoking an engineer’s certification as required under federal law.

Marjorie Anders, a Metro-North spokeswoman, said the commuter railroad generally does better during federal inspections than most railroads.

Metro-North experienced two major derailments last year — one in the Bronx that killed four people, and one in Bridgeport that injured dozens.

As 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck¬†reported, the accidents led to recent changes in management as the nation’s second-largest commuter rail system moves forward.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)