Limited service resumes on NYC-Conn. train route

Emergency workers arrive at the scene of a train collision May 17, 2013, in Fairfield, Conn.
AP Photo/The Connecticut Post - Christian Abraham

HARTFORD, Conn. Connecticut says limited, slower train service is about to resume, four days after a derailment injured scores of commuter rail passengers.

The state Department of Transportation said Tuesday that one of the two damaged tracks has been rebuilt and returned to service for Metro-North Railroad and Amtrak. Limited service will resume beginning with the 3:07 p.m. departure Tuesday from Grand Central Terminal in New York.

Metro-North will operate about half the regular eastbound evening rush hour service. Westbound service will begin with a 4:23 p.m. train from New Haven.

connecticut, train, derail, collision, buses, transport
Shuttle buses line up to transport commuters at the transportation center in Bridgeport, Ct., Monday, May 20, 2013. The commuters had arrived from New Haven by train and were being bused to Stamford, Ct., where rail service to New York was available. A train collision on Friday injured 72 people and disrupted rail service into New York City.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Full service is expected to resume Wednesday morning.

The operation will require a reduced speed of 30 mph, which officials say is standard for new track installations. Trains will use a single track for seven miles around Bridgeport, forcing delays.

The rail line dates back more than a century. George Gavalla, a former associate administrator for safety at the Federal Railroad Administration, said that for a line that old, the various elements would have been replaced several times over. He said federal mandates call for the rails to be inspected twice a week and it was too soon to say what could have caused the collision.

About 700 people were on board the trains Friday evening when one heading east from New York City's Grand Central Terminal to New Haven derailed just outside Bridgeport. It was hit by a train heading west from New Haven. Three people remained hospitalized Monday at Bridgeport Hospital, including the one in critical condition.

On Monday, Metro-North used 120 buses to help rail commuters make their way around the accident site.

David Cox, a 52-year-old human resources manager from Waterbury, said his bus ride from Bridgeport to Stamford took 1 ½ hours, making his entire one-way trip about 3 1/2 hours, an hour longer than normal.

"It's something you have to live with and you just make do," he said, after boarding the train for the final leg of his commute. "You can't get upset over it."