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Connecticut Officials Want More From Feds On Rail Safety

Push Comes In Wake Of Crash Along New Haven Line
Two Metro-North trains collided in Bridgeport, Conn., on May 17, 2013. (credit: CBS 2)

Two Metro-North trains collided in Bridgeport, Conn., on May 17, 2013. (credit: CBS 2)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) - Connecticut officials are calling on the federal government to spend more on rail safety and reliability following the Metro-North Railroad derailment and crash near Bridgeport.

There are two ideas.

One is from Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who urges a trust fund be set up to invest in federal railroad upgrades and repairs. Rep. Jim Himes and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch joined Blumenthal at news conference on Wednesday.

Blumenthal, a Democrat, asked his Republican colleagues to join what he says should be a bi-partisan effort.

“This cause used to be bi-partisan. The President who built our Interstate was – this is a test – Dwight Eisenhower,” Blumenthal said.

The other idea comes from Sen. Chris Murphy.

He told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau that Amtrak, which makes huge profits on their rails on the northeast corridor, needs to invest the return there.

“They have seen, in the last several weeks, how desperate we need investment here. They have money that they’re taking off of the ticket holders and the people who are riding this line. They should spend it here to try and improve the status of our infrastructure,” Murphy told Schneidau.

Murphy said the Connecticut delegation is united in this effort.

The cause of the derailment is still under investigation.

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