A newspaper reports that federal inspectors found more than 7,100 defects and deficiencies in the Metro-North Railroad over the last decade, but records show regulators launched an investigation only after two high-profile accidents last year.
In an open records request by Hearst Media, federal inspection reports between 2003 and 2013 show inspectors last year found broken joint bars and loose or missing rail braces that hold tracks to the ties in Bridgeport, Norwalk, New Haven, and Stamford.
They found numerous instances of passenger emergency equipment not being in place in New Haven and Stamford.
Records show Metro-North was faulted in 2013 for not revoking an engineer's certification as required under federal law.
Marjorie Anders, a Metro-North spokeswoman, said the commuter railroad generally does better during federal inspections than most railroads.