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Metro-North derailment report clears equipment, tracks

The preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety

The preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board found that there were no "anomalies" on the track where the Metro-North train derailed or in the signal system, train brakes or other mechanical equipment before the incident. Photo Credit: John Roca

The federal agency investigating the deadly Metro-North derailment released a preliminary report Tuesdaythat does not determine the cause of the Dec. 1 incident.

The preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board found that there were no "anomalies" on the track where the Metro-North train derailed, at the Spuyten Duyvil curve in the Bronx, or in the signal system, train brakes or other mechanical equipment before the incident.

The derailment killed four people and sent 59 passengers to the hospital. The Metro-North train was carrying 115 passengers when it sped into the curve at 82 mph, far beyond the 30 mph limit. The damage cost $9 million, the report found.

The conductor reportedly dozed off as the train approached the curve and was unable to slow down in time. NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said an probable cause of the derailment will be officially determined in 12 to 18 months.

Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Schumer and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, Tuesdayannounced that the Federal Railroad Administration will get $185 million for 45 railroad inspectors in an upcoming budget bill. The inspectors would conduct safety audits and infrastructure inspections at rail systems around the country. The bill would also require that the FRA report to Congress the findings and recommendations from its "deep dive" probe into Metro-North's safety culture in March.

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