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Hearings planned on derailment

Tue., May 21, 2013, midnight

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Commuters navigated a patchwork of cars, trains and buses along Connecticut’s shoreline Monday, encountering lengthy delays as authorities probed the cause of a train collision that disrupted one of the nation’s oldest and most heavily traveled railways.

Rail service from Connecticut to New York City, along with Amtrak between Boston and New York, was expected to resume by Wednesday morning rush hour, five days after the derailment and crash injured scores of passengers.

While investigators have revealed little beyond their interest in one particular rail section, Connecticut lawmakers plan hearings on the crash on the rail network servicing New York City – one they say is in need of extensive improvements.

The Metro-North crash at rush hour Friday evening injured 72 people, including one who remained in critical condition Monday. It snarled commutes for roughly 30,000 people who normally use the train.

Commuters struggled Monday to find transportation, and many reported rides to work and back home far longer than on typical days.

Some drove themselves, and state officials nervously watched heavy traffic on two major arteries in southwest Connecticut, Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway.

But transportation officials were pleased that area highways were not as choked as they feared, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.

He said commuters heeded his warning over the weekend about the prospect of highways becoming parking lots if all 30,000 of the usual train riders drove instead.

“Today went exceedingly well,” the governor said. “People listened to us. Many people stayed home or worked from home.”


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