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Senators urge Congress to add funds for federal railroad safety

WASHINGTON – Following the December 1 Metro-North derailment that killed four people and injured over 60 others, two US senators have asked Congress to increase funding to the Federal Railroad Administration for added inspections.

Senators Charles Schumer (D, NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D, CT) have asked for an increase of $15 million over this year’s sequestered budget, bringing the total in the Obama administration’s request to $185 million for safety and operations.

The additional money would fund 45 more inspectors.

The lawmakers said the FRA does not seek to inspect 100 percent of the nation’s rails each year, a task shared by states and the railroads themselves, but additional funding would allow them to “dramatically increase the percentage of spot safety checks.”

The Metro-North Hudson Line train that left Poughkeepsie and derailed in the Bronx went around a sharp curve designated as a 30 mile per hour zone at 82 mph.