Connecticut Train Wreck: Commuters Will Have Challenging Day, And Week, In The Wake Of The Metro-North Collision Friday

Metro-North Railroad Collision-May 17, 2013
Metro-North Railroad passengers wait to be picked up after two commuter trains collided between Bridgeport and Fairfield on the New Haven Line in Connecticut Friday shortly after 6 p.m. EDT. Dozens were injured in the crash. Reuters/Michelle McLoughlin

Rail riders along both Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and the Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line will continue to feel Monday the impacts of the commuter-train crash that injured about 70 people in Connecticut Friday night.

Each day, about 30,000 Metro-North customers use stations where service has been curtailed, according to the commuter-rail unit of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees certain public-transit segments in New York and its surrounding suburbs in both Connecticut and New York state. Service is suspended between South Norwalk and New Haven at present.

Metro-North reported in a statement Sunday that it had begun removing the cars of the two trains involved in the collision Friday from the apparent accident site in Bridgeport. “As of about 9 p.m. [Saturday], the National Transportation Safety Board authorized removal of the rail cars from the site, allowing the investigative and cleanup process to proceed. As of 8 a.m. Sunday, [13] cars had been removed and the remaining three were expected to be removed by the early afternoon,” Metro-North said.

Once the site is cleared, crews will start restoring the track infrastructure that was damaged by the derailment and sideswipe. “Our crews will essentially be rebuilding two thousand feet of damaged track, and overhead wires and signal system,” Metro-North President Howard Permut said in the statement. “This amounts to the wholesale reconstruction of a two-track electrified railroad. It will take multiple days of around-the-clock work to do that, and then to inspect, test and requalify the newly rebuilt infrastructure. Unfortunately, service disruptions on this section of the New Haven Line are expected to continue well into the coming week.”

The Connecticut Department of Transportation and Metro-North released details of their current service plan relative to the New Haven Line Sunday: They are available on the former’s online site. Encompassing the use of buses, the service plan is effective not only Monday but also until further notice. The two agencies point out, “Customers should understand that their commuting times will be considerably longer in many cases.” As a result, customers are encouraged to either seek alternative ways to get to and from work or stagger their work schedules.

Both Amtrak and Metro-North are employing their Twitter accounts to keep customers apprised of the latest developments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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