Citing “extraordinary” work by Metro-North, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Monday that the railroad’s 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. on Friday, May 17.
State Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker said Amtrak service will also be fully restore 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.
Rail ridership was down 81% in “the affected area” Monday, the first since the accident and resulting service disruption. 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 Metropolitan Transit Authority with the National Transportation Safety Board allowed the track to be cleared and repairs to begin quickly, Malloy said.
Metro-North reached out to fellow rail providers, who pitched in with the equipment necessary to expedite the repair, according to the governor.
Highways not as congested as feared
While some train stations were less full than usual on Monday, highway traffic did not astronomically increase.
Malloy said backups on the Merritt Parkway were less than the average Monday, and that any increased delays on Interstate 95 could be attributed to fog.
“If people cooperate to the extent that they did today, we’ll have another great day tomorrow,” Malloy said Monday.
The DOT has stationed extra tow trucks along major corridors to clear accidents and disabled vehicles, and Malloy said State Police-related paperwork needed for any accidents is being done off the road.