Federal inspectors over the last decade found more than 7,100 defects in Metro-North Railroad, but records show regulators launched a full investigation only after two high-profile accidents last year.
last year found broken joint bars and loose or missing rail braces that hold tracks to ties in several major Connecticut cities, and numerous instances of passenger emergency equipment not being in place.
Marjorie Anders, a Metro-North spokeswoman, said the railroad generally does better during federal inspections than most railroads. “Every time a defect is cited, we fix them,” she said.
The railroad has faced strong criticism over numerous problems last year, including two derailments — one in the Bronx that left four passengers dead — and the Bridgeport accident that injured dozens of people. A power outage in September also forced reduced service for nearly two weeks, infuriating passengers.