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Federal review blasts NY’s Metro-North railroad

A Metro-North passenger train derailed last December in the Bronx, an accident that killed four passengers.
A Metro-North passenger train derailed last December in the Bronx, an accident that killed four passengers.Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

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NEW YORK (AP) — Metro-North, the nation’s second-largest commuter railroad, allowed safety to erode while pushing to keep its trains on time, resulting in a lax culture of inadequate inspections, poor training, and inappropriate cellphone use, according to a stinging federal report prompted by a deadly derailment.

The Federal Railroad Administration, in a report to Congress issued Friday, said Metro-North’s emphasis on sticking to its schedule ‘‘led to a deficient safety culture that has manifested itself in increased risk and reduced safety.’’

It said that ‘‘no single department or office, including the Safety Department, proactively advocates for safety’’ at the railroad, which carried more than 843 million riders between New York City and its suburbs in 2013.

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