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Metro-North Admits Failures In Maintenance, Inspections Before Derailment

Metro North Chief Engineer Robert Puciloski admitted several mistakes that led to the derailment and collision of two trains in Fairfield in May.
Metro North Chief Engineer Robert Puciloski admitted several mistakes that led to the derailment and collision of two trains in Fairfield in May. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Metro-North Chief Engineer Robert Puciloski admitted to the National Transportation Safety Board that the organization failed to recognize several red flags in both maintenance and inspections, which led to a train derailment in Fairfield in May, according to the New York Daily News .

Puciloski testified Wednesday before the NTSB at hearings in Washington, D.C., about the derailment. On May 17, a train traveling at about 70 mph clipped a second train that had applied the emergency brakes but was still traveling at about 23 mph on the tracks near the Fairfield-Bridgeport border.

In all, 76 passengers and Metro-North employees were taken to hospitals as a result of injuries in the crash.

Because of the derailment, service on the New Haven Line was disrupted through that area until May 22 while the site was cleaned up, the crash investigated 2,000 feet of track rebuilt.

A rail joint with insufficient support was the culprit behind the derailment that caused more than $18 million in damages, experts determined.

The joint responsible for the derailment was inspected by Metro-North officials on May 15, just two days before the accident, according to testimony.

Puciloski admitted during the hearing that Metro-North is falling behind on its own schedule to resurface rail beds and replace railroad ties, according the the Daily News.

Read the full story here at the New York Daily News website.

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