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May 20, 2013

Commutes long, slow after CT train derailment

Photo | CNN Metro-North commuters boarding buses Monday.
Photo | CNN Investigators continue to probe the cause of Friday's commuter-train collision.

Connecticut commuters planned for long, slow trips to and from work Monday following last week's train collision that that injured 72 people and disrupted rail service into New York City, The Associated Press reports.

It took Gary Maddin of Milford an hour to make what is normally a 20 minute drive from his home to the Bridgeport train station. From there, he planned to board a shuttle bus to Stamford where he could catch a train to Grand Central Station in New York.

''It's a lot,'' he said. ''It's a nightmare just to get into the city today.''

Metro-North was using 120 buses to help rail commuters make their way around the scene of Friday's accident.

A shuttle train was operating about every 20 minutes Monday morning between New Haven and Bridgeport. From there commuters could take and express bus to Stamford or a local bus that also made stops in Fairfield and Westport.

State transportation officials said traffic on Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway also was at a crawl Monday morning, with the trip between Bridgeport and Stamford estimated at about an hour during the height of the rush hour.

Officials say Friday's collision impacts about 30,000 people who normally use the train.

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. Nine remained hospitalized on Sunday, with one critical.

Metro-North officials expected it would be days before train service was restored.

Crews will spend days rebuilding 2,000 feet of track, overhead wires and signals, and a rainy weather forecast could make driving a bit more treacherous.

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