SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

May 20, 2013

Weeklong traffic mess possible after Conn. derailment

(Continued)

Starting with this morning’s rush-hour, a shuttle train will operate about every 20 minutes between New Haven and Bridgeport and two shuttle buses will run between Bridgeport and Stamford stations, state transportation officials said.

For morning and evening peak commutes, limited train service will operate between Grand Central Terminal and Westport.

State officials said travel times will be significantly longer than normal and trains will be crowded. Commuters are advised to use the Harlem line in New York.

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

Jim Cameron, chairman of the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council, said he’s asked officials in numerous towns to suspend parking rules to accommodate what could be tens of thousands of motorists driving to unaffected train stations. Twelve stations are affected by the shutdown.

But Cameron said he doubts many commuters will use three modes of transportation to get to work: driving their cars to catch a bus to get to a train station for the final leg.

He suggested that local and regional officials post highway signs directing motorists to available parking so motorists “don’t get off the highway and drive in circles looking for where to dump their cars.”

About 700 people were on board the trains Friday evening when one heading east from New York City’s Grand Central Terminal to New Haven derailed just outside Bridgeport. It was hit by a train heading west from New Haven.

Dan Solomon, a trauma surgeon who lives in Westport and was headed to work at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, was on the train that derailed. He said he treated several injured passengers, including a woman with severely broken ankles.

He said he was in a front car that was not as badly affected as cars in the rear of the train.

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