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Conn. Rail Council Wants Answers On Metro-North Derailment

Commuter Rail Council To Hold Final Meeting Next Week
NTSB investigators on the scene of a Metro-North train derailment and crash in Connecticut. (credit: NTSB/Flickr)

NTSB investigators on the scene of a Metro-North train derailment and crash in Connecticut. (credit: NTSB/Flickr)

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STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – The Connecticut Commuter Rail Council was seeking some specific answers on the May 17 Bridgeport train derailment and collision before next Wednesday, the date of the council’s last meeting.

Investigators determined that during an inspection two days before the derailment, crews discovered a faulty track bed.

Jim Cameron of the council has submitted a question to Metro-North and to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, seeking to determine why nothing was done to stop trains from traveling over the problem track even after the issue was found and identified.

“If a problem was found, why was the track kept open and why weren’t the trains given a slow order. And, importantly, what has been done to increase track inspections since the accident,” Cameron told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

The derailment left more than 70 people injured and disrupted service on the New Haven line for several days.

Cameron has submitted several other questions on behalf of the Commuter Council.

“I’m hoping Metro-North and the DOT will answer these questions, but some members of the council are afraid that they’re going to lawyer up, that they’re going to say ‘well, it’s all under investigation and we can’t talk about these things,’” Cameron said.

Since the accident, the railroad has said it hired a consultant and has increased inspection of its tracks.

But Cameron said he’s fundamentally seeking to understand why, if a problem was spotted with the tracks, nothing done to halt train travel and immediately fix it.

The Connecticut Commuter Rail Council was officially dissolved by the legislature in its session, which just ended. The June 19 meeting will be its last.

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