The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has criticized Union Pacific, the largest freight rail carrier in the US, for failing to maintain its fleet and continuing to use faulty equipment. The FRA found that more than 70% of the train engines in the company’s East Departure Yard in North Platte, Nebraska, had safety defects, as did 20% of the cars. These defect ratios are twice the national average. The company has not displayed a sense of urgency to improve locomotive and car conditions, according to the FRA.

“We get paid to move freight. We don’t get paid to work on cars.”

The safety record of the country’s railroad industry is under deep scrutiny, with all eyes on Norfolk Southern, whose train notoriously derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, in February, releasing toxic pollution and forcing a mass evacuation. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been trying to get the nation’s largest freight rail companies to participate in a voluntary safety program in which workers can confidentially report “close calls” like runaway trains and misaligned switches without fear of retribution. The rail industry has resisted, saying employees could use the system to avoid punishment for their own safety violations.

Read more in ProPublica’s report, “How the Railroad Industry Intimidates Employees Into Putting Speed Before Safety.