NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – There has been a surge in train delays on Metro-North Railroad to start the year as track repair has ramped up.

Maintenance work was responsible for delaying more than 4,500 trains in January and February, the New York Post reported. That’s compared to 456 during the same time last year.

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The Post said this year’s harsh winter also was responsible for delaying over 1,000 trains.

Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said on-time performance has taken a hit as the railroad concentrates its resources on safety. She said the railroad is working to restore “high-service quality and this includes a lot of track work.”

There were 4,300 customer complaints through the end of February, up from 2,800 during the same period last year.

Metro-North’s new president Joseph Giulietti, who took over earlier this year, has said the railroad will put safety as the top priority over being on time.

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Last week, he met with commuters at a number of locations across the region to hear complaints and suggestions.

A Federal Railroad Administration report skewered the commuter rail line for putting timeliness ahead of safety.

A number of safety measures have been put in place and a safety officer position has been established at the railroad.

In December, a Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx killing four people.

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