May 19, 2013
MTA Statement on Cleanup of Metro-North Derailment
MTA Metro-North Railroad has begun removing rail cars from the site of Friday’s derailment and subsequent sideswipe in Bridgeport, Connecticut. As of about 9 p.m. last night, the National Transportation Safety Board authorized removal of the rail cars from the site, allowing the investigative and cleanup process to proceed. As of 8 a.m. Sunday, thirteen cars had been removed and the remaining three were expected to be removed by the early afternoon.
Once the site is cleared, crews will begin the longer and extremely difficult process of restoring the track infrastructure that was damaged by the derailment and collision.
“Our crews will essentially be rebuilding two thousand feet of damaged track, and overhead wires and signal system,” said Metro-North Railroad President Howard Permut. “This amounts to the wholesale reconstruction of a two-track electrified railroad. It will take multiple days of around-the-clock work to do that, and then to inspect, test and requalify the newly rebuilt infrastructure. Unfortunately, service disruptions on this section of the New Haven Line are expected to continue well into the coming week.”
The MTA and Connecticut DOT plan to provide more information later on Sunday detailing the plan for service on Monday. Plans to be announced later today will include the use of buses along some sections of the railroad.
Each day, approximately 30,000 Metro-North customers use the stations where service has been curtailed. About 125,000 use the New Haven Line as a whole, and its three branches.