NEW YORK • The Metro-North commuter railroad has allowed its emphasis on trains' on-time performance to "routinely" overshadow its safety operations, according to a Federal Railroad Administration review.
"Metro-North must never compromise safety in the interests of the reliability of its train schedule or the efficiency in its railroad operations," said the report prepared for release Friday.
The review was prompted by a Dec. 1 derailment in the Bronx that killed four passengers and injured about 70 others. But it delves into a wide range of operations at the railroad, which primarily serves New York and Connecticut.
It said employees reported pressure from the railroad's operations control center to rush when responding to signal failures; workers had trouble getting needed track time to make essential repairs; and cellphone use by track workers "appeared to be quite commonplace."