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Metro-North engineer caught reading, texting

June 7, 2012 2:18:02 PM PDT
A railroad engineer operating a Metro North train while reading a newspaper and checking text messages has been suspended.

The video was shot during Wednesday morning's rush by a passenger. The video shows the engineer looking up occasionally when signals sound, but is otherwise engrossed in his newspaper while the train is moving at top speed. Later the 24-year veteran checks his phone - all while operating an 8-car train bound for Grand Central with hundreds of passengers on board.

There is a bit of automation involved. An override system kicks in if any train goes through a red signal, but experts say that's only one potential danger.

Metro North issued this statement: "Reading anything, texting or using cell phones while operating a train is totally unacceptable. Metro North is taking action to ensure this does not happen again. Every member of every train crew is being reinstructed today that this behavior will not be tolerated."

Metro North says the engineer was taken out of service Thursday morning when he showed up for work pending the outcome of the investigation.

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