Head of Metro-North Stepping Down: Source

The head of the Metro-North Railroad is stepping down after a year marred by a fatal derailment in the Bronx, a train collision in Connecticut, a worker’s death and a 12-day power loss to one of the authority’s busiest lines, a source familiar with the situation told NBC 4 New York.

Howard R. Permut, the president of the railroad, will step down at the end of the month, the source says. 

He will be replaced by Joseph Giuletti of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, an official told the New York Times.

Metro-North declined to comment to NBC 4 New York Monday. The Times reported that it unsuccessfully attempted to reach Permut and Giuletti.

One of the original members of the Metro-North team when the railroad was brought under the MTA’s control in 1983, Permut became the authority’s president in 2008, the Times reports.

Permut’s retirement comes amid a federal review of the Metro-North following the deaths of four passengers in a derailment in December in the Bronx. More than 60 people were hurt when a train careened off the rails taking a curve near the Spuyten Duyvil station at 82 mph, more than twice the the 30 mph speed limit. The train’s engineer has said he nodded at the controls before the crash.

It wasn’t the only problem for the beleaguered railroad in 2013. On May 17, two trains collided during the evening rush in Connecticut, injuring more than 60 people.

Eleven days later, a track foreman was killed in West Haven, Conn., when he was hit by a train on a supposedly inactive section of track that was put back in service prematurely by a student traffic controller.

In July, a freight train hauling trash derailed on the same curve as December’s derailment.

And in September, a feeder cable in Mount Vernon, N.Y., failed, knocking out power for 12 days on the Metro-North’s New Haven line, which carries 132,000 customers daily.

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