Before Metro-North Crash – NTSB: Track Inspection Found Problems with Track

Scenes from Metro-North Crash in Bridgeport May 2013

June 6, 2013

There are new details out about what may have caused a train collision in Bridgeport that injured more than 70 people. Federal investigators say a piece of the track was singled out by inspectors as a potential problem, just two days before that crash.

On May 15, two days before a train headed for New York City derailed in Bridgeport, a Metro-North track inspector had found a problem with the track.

According to the NTSB report, that inspection revealed a “rail joint with inadequate supporting ballast and indications of vertical movement of the track system” right at the point where the derailment occurred. At the time, the Metro-North inspector did not think it required immediate attention.

“In his opinion it was not deemed a serious defect. It was something he was keeping his eye on,” said Marjorie Anders, Metro-North Railroad spokeswoman.

“If the inspector had thought it was a serious defect he would not have hesitated to issue a slow speed order and take immediate action to affect the repairs,” Anders said. “He did not see it as a serious defect that required immediate attention because he knew he was going to be there in another couple of days to make an assessment if it’s getting worse.”

The NTSB is investigating the train inspector and Metro-North’s track maintenance procedures.

“It just makes me concerned about the overall infrastructure. I understand that it’s old so it does make me think twice,” said commuter Dan Bernard.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch issued the following statement after reading the report:

“The NTSB’s preliminary report shows that we must invest more in improving rail transportation, and we must move quickly on getting our railroads up to a state of good repairs. The current pace of repairs is taking far too long.”

Excerpts from WTNH – Ali Reed

Related Links

Train Collision on Metro-North in Bridgeport
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