Full rail service is expected to be restored by Wednesday
Citing “extraordinary” work by Metro-North, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Monday the New Haven Line should be fully operational by Wednesday morning’s commute.
That would restore service less than four days after one train derailed and was struck by another, heading in the opposite direction, shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, May 17.
Commissioner James P. Redeker of the state Department of Transportation said Amtrak service will also be fully restored Wednesday morning.
Until trains are running again, the plan used Monday remains in effect for Tuesday, May 21. That means a mix of limited rail service and shuttle buses for stations east of South Norwalk. Details are available at http://mta.info/supplemental/mnr/mnr_weather_info.html.
Rail ridership was down 81% in “the affected area” Monday, the first since the accident and resulting service disruption. Mr. Malloy, as he did Sunday, urged Connecticut residents to work from home and stay off the roads, and the City of Bridgeport opened its offices early to get cars out of rush hour. Bridgeport municipal offices will again open one hour earlier Tuesday.
The cooperation of local agencies and the MTA with the National Transportation Safety Board allowed the track to be cleared and repairs to begin quickly, Mr. Malloy said.
Mr. Malloy said Metro-North reached out to fellow rail providers, who pitched in with the equipment necessary to expedite the repair.
While some train stations were less full than usual, highway traffic did not astronomically increase.
Mr. Malloy said backups on the Merritt Parkway were less than the average Monday, and that any increased delays on I-95 could be attributed to fog.
“If people cooperate to the extent that they did today we’ll have another great day tomorrow,” Mr. Malloy said.
The DOT has stationed extra tow trucks along major corridors to clear accidents and disabled vehicles, and Mr. Malloy said paperwork involved in accidents is being done off the road.