Officials warn of commuter chaos from Connecticut derailment

Passengers wait to be picked-up after two commuter trains collided in Bridgeport, Connecticut causing one to derail injuring numerous passengers, May 17, 2013. Some 20 to 25 people were injured on Friday in a train accident near Fairfield, Connecticut Credit: Reuters
Passengers wait to be picked up after two commuter trains collided in Bridgeport, Conn., on Friday. Some 20 to 25 people were injured.
Credit: Reuters

Thousands of Connecticut commuters should brace for travel chaos on Monday as Metro-North workers repair damage on the United States’ busiest rail line caused by the collision of two trains, officials warned on Sunday.

Lengthy detours and hours of traffic backups were likely as many train commuters take to the road, officials said. The Friday derailment of a Metro-North passenger train that struck a commuter train between Fairfield and Bridgeport, Conn., injured more than 70 people and halted full service on the line indefinitely.

The Monday commute will be “extremely challenging and I am activating the state’s Emergency Management System. There will be serious disruptions all week, and I would encourage anyone who can, to stay home, if possible,” Governor Dannel Malloy told a news conference.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation was preparing a plan to assist commuters. The agency, Malloy and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, urged people to make alternate plans.

“I’m really in the same boat as everyone else, as I plan to head down to Washington to make it clear to the White House that I am deeply concerned about our nation’s railway infrastructure,” Blumenthal said.

“This accident shows that safety cannot be compromised, and is going to cost tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. We need to find the problems before they lead to accidents like this one.”

Malloy said 30,000 daily commuters will be seriously affected on Monday and likely the entire week.

The site of the crash is about 50 miles northeast of New York. Metro-North train service between New Haven and South Norwalk is indefinitely suspended.

Service by Amtrak, the U.S. passenger rail service, also has been suspended indefinitely. Officials reiterated on Sunday that they did not know when service would be restored.

The New York-New Haven line is the busiest rail line in the country, serving 125,000 commuters a day, said Judd Everhart, a spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Regular service will run from the Stamford station and South Norwalk station to Grand Central Terminal in New York. Limited service will run from Westport.

Morning commuter train service would run every 20 minutes from New Haven to Bridgeport on the New Haven commuter line, the state Department of Transportation said.

Two buses will run from Bridgeport to Stamford Station, bypassing the site of the accident.

Earl Weener, a board member for the National Transportation Safety Board, told the news conference the agency was finishing its probe of the crash site and would turn it over to Metro-North on Sunday.

All the train cars have been removed, recording devices recovered and crews were being interviewed, he said.

Weener said hundreds of pounds of track had been sent to the NTSB laboratory in Washington. The track includes a section of fractured rail that may have caused the accident or been damaged by it.

“But it will take a significant amount of time to repair the tracks,” he said.

State transportation officials said that more than 2,000 feet of track must be repaired and replaced.

Of the more than 70 passengers and crew members injured, eight remained hospitalized on Sunday. Three were in critical condition, officials said.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Local

Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.

Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox walk off with…

Red Sox pick up first walk off win of 2014

MLB

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at…

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at 11 a.m.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings…

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings in Game 2

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.