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Stay Home, Connecticut Governor Tells Rail Commuters

A Connecticut state investigator examines the scene of a Metro North train collision on May 18, 2013
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A Connecticut state investigator examines the scene of a Metro North train collision on May 18, 2013

Thousands of Connecticut commuters faced delays and crowded trains on Monday as Metro-North workers scrambled to repair damage on the United States' busiest rail line, caused by the collision of two trains.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said commuters should expect "serious disruptions" throughout the week and encouraged riders to stay home if possible.

On Friday evening, a Metro-North passenger train derailed and then was struck by another commuter train between Fairfield and Bridgeport, Conn., injuring more than 70 people and halting full service. The site of the crash is about 50 miles northeast of New York City.

Despite the disruption, the commute ran reasonably smoothly on Monday, with many commuters staying home, driving to train lines that had not been disrupted or taking a shuttle-bus service.

"CT Transit and MTA bus as well as several smaller local operators have provided about 120 buses, and the operation has been running smoothly, but ridership has been very light. Apparently most commuters heeded Gov. Malloy's suggestion that they stay home," said Marjorie Anders, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, a New York state agency that operates Metro-North Railroad.

Service along the corridor by Amtrak, the U.S. passenger rail service, also has been suspended indefinitely.

The New York-New Haven line is the busiest rail line in the country, serving 125,000 commuters a day, said Judd Everhart, a spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Regular service ran from the Stamford and South Norwalk stations to Grand Central Terminal in New York. Limited service ran from Westport.

State transportation officials said more than 2,000 feet of track must be repaired and replaced.

_ By Reuters

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