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The nation's largest commuter railroad system failed to address a major public safety hazard that it had known about for years. Through tenacious shoe-leather reporting, the staff of Newsday documented a danger long ignored by the Long Island Railroad and by state and federal regulators. Armed with Stanley tape measures, they found dangerous gaps between the platform and trains at the railroad's busiest stations, holes large enough for passengers to fall through.
The New York Times found that, in 2002, after an Amtrak train jumped the tracks and killed four people in Crescent City, FL, Amtrak paid millions of dollars in compensation, even though it was their freight railroad company, CSX's, fault. The New York Times found that this happened a lot when there were train wrecks and that, though, the wrecks were caused by poor track maintenance by CSX, Amtrak paid every time. Amtrak pays the liability claims as compensation for using the freight lines' tracks, and leaves CSX and other freight railroad companies virtually free of responsibility. This leads to a lack of incentive by the companies to keep their tracks safe and secure.