CT Politics

Connecticut Politics

Blumenthal seeks Metro-North safety records from Federal Railway Agency

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal: "Riders have lost their patience with this railroad and so have I."

Sen. Richard Blumenthal: “Riders have lost their patience with this railroad and so have I.” (AP)

Saying, “Riders have lost their patience with this railroad and so have I,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal has requested 10 years of Metro-North safety-inspection and enforcement records from the Federal Railway Administration.

In a letter dated Feb. 12 to Joseph C. Szabo, FRA administrator, Blumenthal said, “Recent incidents involving Metro-North clearly show the need for a renewed focus on safety and reliability. Although causes must be determined, Metro-North must confront questions about adequacy of equipment, tracks and maintenance and repair practices.”

The Connecticut Democrat praised the railway agency for embarking on “Operation Deep Dive,” initially billed as a 60-day investigation of Metro-North issues after a derailment in the Bronx killed four and injured 63 Dec. 1.

But the agency’s self-imposed 60-day deadline has passed, and an agency spokesman said Friday that it would be “several weeks” before the results of the investigation would be made public.

“In the meantime I am requesting the FRA to provide my office with all Metro-North inspection reports, safety evaluations and other relevant safety documentation, including enforcement reports and actions from the past ten years,” Blumenthal wrote in his letter to Szabo.

Hearst Newspapers filed a Freedom of Information Act request for exactly the same documents on Dec. 4 of last year. To date, the agency still has not provided Hearst with even an estimate of when they will make the public records available.

“The public deserves to know Metro-North’s safety history,” Blumenthal wrote.

 

 

Categories: General
David McCumber, Washington Bureau Chief

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