Metro-North train service returns to normal after derailment - KCTV5

Metro-North train service returns to normal after derailment

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With the rails repaired, the riders returned to Union Station in New Haven Wednesday With the rails repaired, the riders returned to Union Station in New Haven Wednesday
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

After dealing with disruptions from last week's train derailment and collision, commuters along Metro-North's New Haven Line are breathing a sigh of relief.

The New Haven Line returned to its normal schedule Wednesday, five days after more than 70 people were injured when a train derailed and then slammed into a train traveling in the opposite direction.

After grabbing their rail tickets and then glancing at the departure board in New Haven's Union Station, it's back to the daily grind for commuters.

Michelle Roberts said that's perfectly fine with her.

"I swear, 20 minutes on the train is better than an hour on the bus," she said.

After around-the-clock repairs and plenty of testing, limited trains on the New Haven Line resumed Wednesday afternoon, with the schedule fully operational Wednesday morning.

"I'm relieved," said Kerri Willis of Hartford. "It actually makes things a little bit easier being able to plan a schedule appropriately and not have to build a couple of extra hours into your day."

Workers fixed about 2,000 feet of damaged track, along with overhead wires and signals.

Metro-North officials said during the next few days operation on the new stretch of rail will require reduced speeds of 30 mph.

On Monday and Tuesday, shuttle trains ferried commuters from New Haven to Bridgeport. From there they had to catch a bus down to Stamford and then they could connect on a train to Grand Central.

John Amrich came down from the Springfield, MA area to catch a train to New York City. He was at Union Station before 5 a.m., which was his first time back since the derailment.

"I actually went to a different station, went to Stamford," Amrich said. "It was a lot easier than coming to New Haven and taking the buses."

In the days following the derailment, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy warned to plan for a week's worth of disruption.

So the fact that it only affected two days of the work week pleased commuters.

"I knew they were mentioning seven days of potential, so obvious concerns if I had to deal with it for so many days," Amrich said. "The other option as the governor mentioned was to work from home, which I did one of the days."

As investigators look into a cause of the derailment, they are focusing on determining whether a rail broke before or during the crash.

It could be months before a final report is released.

With the rails repaired, the riders returned Wednesday.

"They got a system. It kind of worked out, but now that it's working properly," said Michelle Roberts of New Haven. "It will be a smoother ride."

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