BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Metro-North officials announced Monday afternoon that normal service on the New Haven line is set to resume for the Wednesday morning commute.
“We are confident that the reconstruction work, inspection and testing will be completed in time for a normal rush hour on Wednesday,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut. “We are grateful for the tireless work of all departments and employees engaged in this huge task.”
Meanwhile, CBS 2 has learned the engineer of the train that derailed told the National Transportation Safety Board that he saw a broken or dislodged track as he approached, but couldn’t stop the train in time to avoid derailing.
More than 100 crew members have been working around the clock since Saturday night to quickly repair the damaged track and overhead power lines.
As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, as of Monday night, crews had finished work on the overhead power lines and damaged signals at the crash site. But rebuilding the 2,000 feet of damaged rail is no simple matter.
Still, Wednesday is much sooner than Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy expected to see service return.
“The New Haven Line should be fully operation on Wednesday. I have to say that this is due to the extraordinary work of Metro-North, the federal officials in clearing and our own state DOT. This is very, very good news and something that we did not think could be accomplished,” Malloy said at a news conference Monday evening. “Full operations are expected to begin on Wednesday morning. What this means is this is tremendously good news. However, it also means that we’re going to have one more day of great difficulty, and that’s tomorrow.”
“We’ve actually made great progress in terms of the work that’s needed to restore the catenary wires, power, working on signals, and obviously the track that needs to be completely relaid,” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello earlier Monday.
Commuters at Grand Central Terminal on Monday evening were relieved to hear that the commute was only moderately frustrating and that service will be back sooner than anticipated.
“I got up at 5 o’clock in the morning today to be at work on time,” a Stratford resident told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “My husband had to drive me to Bridgeport, then I took the bus to Stamford and from Stamford on, it was OK.”