The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says it identified several recurring safety issues in its investigation of recent five Metro-North accidents. Among them: inadequate and ineffective track inspection and maintenance, extensive deferred maintenance issues, inadequate safety oversight, and deficiencies in passenger car crashworthiness, roadway worker protection procedures and organizational safety culture.
Within an 11-month period from May 2013 through March 2014, the NTSB launched investigations into five significant accidents involving Metro North. Taken together, these accidents resulted in 6 fatalities and 126 injuries. During the investigations, the NTSB found several safety management problems that were common to all of the accidents.
“Seeing this pattern of safety issues in a single railroad is troubling,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “The NTSB has made numerous recommendations to the railroad and the regulator that could have prevented or mitigated these accidents. But recommendations can only make a difference if the recipients of our recommendations act on them.”
The probable causes released today are for the following Metro-North accidents: