Wednesday, April 23, 2014
spite of the devil

Residents brace for long accident recovery

By Andy Gross
Richard L. Stein/The Riverdale Press
Minutes after Sunday’s derailment, police and firefighters were already swarming to the rescue.

In the days after the deadly Metro-North train derailment in Spuyten Duyvil, transit officials offered few answers to questions posed by residents.

While many people here are wondering when train service along the Hudson Line will resume, Marjorie Anders, a spokeswoman for the Metro-North Railroad and Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), could not say when the agency will restore regular service.

The Sunday morning, seven-car derailment of  commuter train 8808 that killed four and injured scores of others also badly tore up at least two of the three tracks over an undisclosed distance at the accident site, according to the MTA.

Ms. Anders said workers set the train cars back on the rail and a locomotive towed them to the Highbridge rail yard in the southwest Bronx.

“It will take time for railroad specialists to repair the two tracks, the third rail and the signal system,” she said. “It’s almost like building a new railroad.” She could not estimate the financial cost to rebuild the tracks.

However, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said  on Tuesday that more than 98 percent of service will be restored to the line this week.

Meanwhile, shuttle buses are transporting passengers between the Yonkers Metro-North station and the 242nd-Street subway station. The MTA said use of the buses was light during rush hour Monday morning, with about 2,300 people using them. However, the agency said ridership on the Metro-North Harlem Line was up between 20 to 25 percent on Monday.

Even with Metro-North service interrupted indefinitely, local commuters appear to be adapting, according to local officials.

On Monday afternoon, George Diaz, the transportation liaison for District 11 City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, said constituents have made no complaints regarding the Metro-North service disruption.

The National Transit Safety Board (NTSB), the federal agency responsible for investigating the cause of the Metro-North crash on Sunday, has impounded the cars damaged in the derailment on the Hudson Line at the Highbridge facility as evidence for its investigation.

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