Limited Metro-North, Amtrak service to begin Tues. afternoon
BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -
The state department of transportation announced Tuesday afternoon that limited Metro-North and Amtrak service began Tuesday afternoon between New York and New Haven.
"This is a significant step toward the resumption of full service, and quite remarkable given that the derailment occurred barely 96 hours ago," Connecticut DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said. "Metro-North and Amtrak are important components in keeping the regional economy moving forward and I want to commend Metro-North for its round-the-clock efforts toward getting service back on line."
The repairs were expected to take at least a week, but Metro-North said crews worked around the clock to make it happen sooner.
Officials said one of the two damaged tracks has been repaired, and the first Metro-North train departed Grand Central Terminal at 3:07 p.m. The train will operate about half of the regular, eastbound PM peak service and regularly hourly westbound service starting with the 4:23 p.m. train out of New Haven.
DOT officials said Metro-North will continue to operate on a regular schedule between Grand Central and South Norwalk in both directions.
Metro-North will reinstate its regular weekday service to and from New Haven starting Wednesday morning.
Limited service is running through Tuesday evening because there is still only one track through this section where the crash happened.
Metro-North service was suspended following a major train derailment and collision that left more than 70 people injured on the Bridgeport/Fairfield town line.
"When the crash came I was thrown up almost to the ceiling," said Paul Jordan, who now suffers from a broken back.
He told Eyewitness News that he remembers the sounds of metal on metal.
"It's all metal very disconcerting and the crash a gigantic collision," Jordan said.
Federal investigators said they are looking at a section of broken rail that may have caused the derailment.
An union official for the train workers says the engineer on the train that derailed swears he saw some sort of split in the rail right before derailing. But also points out the train was going 70 mph.
At this point, sources told Eyewitness News it does not appear to be human error. The final report could take months or longer.
One personal injury attorney says he already has four clients prepared to sue metropolitan transit authority. Overall, commuters told Eyewitness News they seem satisfied with how the company handled the crisis.
Fairfield, which has three train stations, hasn't had rail service for days.
"I believe commuters were entrenched in the fact this could be a week or a month and it's only been a few days," said Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara.
For the latest on the commuter service plan in effect starting Monday, click here.
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