Metro-North President Howard Permut issued the following statement concerning Friday’s train crash:
Friday evening’s derailment and subsequent sideswipe in Bridgeport on our New Haven Line was a serious occurrence, and I assure you that all the employees at Metro-North are working diligently to operate the railroad in the safest manner possible.
Everyone at Metro-North deeply shares the concerns of the families and friends of those involved in this tragic incident. We thank the first responders who assisted with safely removing the passengers from the trains and transporting those who were injured to area hospitals.
We are actively supporting the National Transportation Safety Board in conducting an exhaustive investigation that will determine the cause of the incident.
Safety is of paramount importance to us. Please be aware that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has specific standards in maintaining a safe railroad. Metro-North’s operating practices and maintenance standards meet or exceed all of these standards. The FRA conducts routine monitoring, inspections and audits of our practices and has taken no exceptions. Since Friday, we have taken extra precautions, including additional track inspections, and will increase this effort going forward.
In addition, the railroad regularly conducts preparedness drills in our territory, which provide first responders and train crews with “hands on” training for what to do during an emergency.
There are four tracks in the segment of the New Haven Line where this incident took place. However, two of those tracks are out of service due to the Connecticut Department of Transportation project to replace the overhead catenary wires that provide power to the trains. The other two tracks, as well as the overhead wires that serve them, received extensive damage as a result of the incident.
We are working to rebuild the two affected tracks in the area as quickly as possible so that we can restore regular train service to you. It is a significant undertaking that will take well into this week. Metro-North has marshaled all the necessary resources, with our forces working around the clock. During this time, we thank all the municipalities affected by this situation for their support and cooperation.
As events continue to change, please continue to listen to the media and check mta.info/mnr for regular updates on service.
For customers on the trains involved in Friday’s incident, we have established a toll-free number to provide assistance. Please contact us at 1-800-638-7646 for information on referral/support services, lost & found items and assistance with any paperwork.
Thank you for your continued support of Metro-North and your patience as we continue to work to restore service.