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Federal Report Finds Bolts On New Metro-North Train Cars Faulty

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The National Transportation Safety Board says Metro-North needs to replace thousands of bolts on more than 400 of the railroad’s newest Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company M-8 train cars. The NTSB released a report earlier this week that stemmed from a derailment in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in May of 2013, that injured dozens of people. The NTSB said the bolts are too weak.

These are the bolts in between train cars that hold two cars together. The NTSB says the bolts didn’t cause the derailment, but their failure made the two-train collision worse.

Jim Cameron is the head of the Commuter Action Group, a Metro-North watchdog in Connecticut. He says he’s not necessarily worried about those bolts when he rides the train.

"What I’m a little more concerned about is the things that we don’t know," Camerson said. "We didn’t know until that derailment that Metro North had a safety problem and wasn’t inspecting the tracks. We didn’t know until that derailment that there was a small design flaw in the M8s."

The Connecticut Department of Transportation said the cars are safe by any measure, and they meet all federal guidelines. They said the Department of Transportation and Metro-North are meeting with the manufacturer to discuss the NTSB’s recommendation.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.