Key findings in Friday’s report by the Federal Railroad Administration on safety shortcomings at the Metro-North commuter railroad:
- The railroad has emphasized on-time performance at the expense of safe operations and adequate maintenance. For example, employees complained that it is difficult to get enough time on the tracks to make necessary repairs.
- No department, not even the Safety Department, advocates for safety at the railroad. There is a lack of communication between the Safety Department and other departments. Safety briefings are poorly attended.
- Employees use cellphones inappropriately. The railroad’s rules addressing phone use are confusing.
- Training of employees is inconsistent and the railroad’s training records system is inefficient and frustrating. Improved training is needed for engineers and conductors, and for track safety, workplace safety, signal maintenance and employee fatigue.
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