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Metro-North Track Worker Struck, Killed By Train In West Haven

Robert Luden Worked For The Railroad For 27 Years
Metro-North Railroad New Haven Line M-8 Rail Car (file / credit: MTA)

Metro-North Railroad New Haven Line M-8 Rail Car (file / credit: MTA)

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) - A track worker was struck and killed Tuesday by a train at a Metro-North station under construction in Connecticut, the railroad said.

Spokesman Aaron Donovan said the worker, identified as Robert Luden, was hit by a train around noon at the site of the future West Haven Metro-North train station. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

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“I am not going to speculate on the cause, obviously either the train or the person was in the wrong place and that’s about all we know,” Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders told 1010 WINS.

Luden, 52, of East Haven, was a 27-year veteran of the railroad, Donovan said.

Train service was restored in the early afternoon after being suspended for about two hours in both directions between Milford and New Haven. The railroad cautioned commuters to expect residual delays.

Before Tuesday’s incident, the last employee fatality was Kenneth P. McGrath, a signal maintainer, who died January 9, 2009, when he was struck by a New Haven Line train in Harrison, N.Y., Donovan said.

The accident came less than two weeks after a train derailed about 15 miles south in Bridgeport, injuring more than 70 people and disrupting service for days on the railroad used by tens of thousands of commuters north of New York City.

On May 17, the eastbound train from New York City derailed during evening rush hour in Bridgeport, came to a stop and was struck about 20 seconds later by a westbound train, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The westbound engineer applied the emergency brakes before striking the eastbound train, NTSB said.

The NTSB has ruled out foul play but is investigating the cause of the derailment.

The NTSB said Friday that a joint bar, used to hold two sections of rail together, had been cracked and repaired last month and that rail sections in the area of the derailment have been shipped to Washington for further examination. Adam Lisberg, a Metropolitan Transit Authority spokesman, said the joint bar was replaced.

The engineer of the commuter train that derailed observed an “unusual condition” on the track as he approached the area, NTSB said without explaining what the condition was.

Metro-North railroad is conducting an inspection and inventory of all the joint bars on its main tracks, NTSB said.

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