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Conn. commuters cope with tough week after train crash

May 20, 2013|By Michael Muskal

Commuters on Monday grappled with the inconvenience of their morning ritual after a deadly train collision in Connecticut last week, but the traffic nightmare that some had predicted did not materialize.

Special shuttle buses and telecommuting took some of the edge off the expected traffic snarls in the commute from Connecticut through Westchester County to New York City -- a situation that is likely to continue through much of the week as the cleanup of damage from Friday’s collision continues.

At least 72 people were injured in Friday's accident, which is being investigated by state and federal authorities.

MORE: Investigators probe Connecticut train crash

A commuter train heading east from Grand Central Terminal in New York to New Haven derailed outside Bridgeport and then was hit by a train going west from New Haven. Roughly 2,000 feet of track were severely damaged, along with wires, traffic signals and some of the train cars. About 700 people were on board when the trains collided. 

The highways, including Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway, were more clogged on Monday morning. The trip between Bridgeport and Stamford, both in Connecticut, took about an hour, more than twice the usual 25 minutes.

“It was bad but not the nightmare that a lot of people thought it would be,” said Judd Everhart, a Connecticut Department of Transportation spokesman, according to the Associated Press. He went on to note that the major highways “are pretty congested on a regular day.”

Officials put on special transportation, including shuttle trains, between New Haven and Bridgeport. Express buses were also added to cope with the transportation woes that made life miserable for about 30,000 people.

“Residents should plan for a week's worth of disruptions,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Sunday at a news conference in Hartford.

“If you are going to New York and you get to New York or you're transporting yourself to New York, you may decide that perhaps you should stay there for the duration of this disturbance,” Malloy said.

Amtrak service between New York and New Haven was still suspended and there was no estimate on service restoration. Limited service was available between New Haven and Boston.

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