As Investigation Into Metro-North Derailment Continues, Crews to Work Through the Weekend to Repair Damaged Tracks

What to Know

  • A Metro-North train derailed north of the Rye station in Westchester on Thursday, injuring 13 people
  • Delays on Friday were expected to continue through the weekend as crews worked to repair hundreds of feet of track
  • The NTSB and the Federal Railroad Administration are investigating the cause; it's believed 90-degree heat caused the track to expand

Crews will work through the weekend to get service back to normal after a Metro-North train derailed in Westchester on Thursday, injuring more than a dozen people and leading to ongoing delays.

Investigators from the NTSB and the Federal Railroad Administration were at the scene of the slow-speed derailment on Friday.

Crews working to repair the tracks said this week's heat wave was to blame for the derailment. They said 90-degree weather caused the track to expand, leading to the derailment. 

After the derailed cars are completely removed, the crews will need to replace two sections of track, about 700 feet each. They'll also need to swap out about 400 concrete ties for wooden ties, the workers said. 

On Thursday, a train operator noticed a kink in the track and Metro-North put a 10 mph restriction on the stretch of rail, which serves the New Haven line, the workers said, echoing statements from the MTA. 

The 12-car train was heading to New York City at 5 p.m. on Thursday, when five of its cars derailed northeast of the Rye station, officials said. All of the affected cars were still upright after the derailment.

Thirteen people, including the conductor, were injured in the derailment. Four of them required treatment at a hospital, officials said. At least one person was seen being taken off the train by stretcher. 

Kim Rosenberg said the train lurched to the left.

"Smoke started rising, and you felt like you were riding on rocks," Rosenberg said. "People started to scream, and you were just hanging on the front of the seat." 

The cause of the derailment is under investigation. Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino said Thursday that the train appeared to be going around a curve at a speed faster than the 10 mph allowed. 

"It's likely that it's excessive speed around that curve," Astorino said. 

MTA would not confirm Astorino's statement about the speed, but said a speed restriction was set for the curve Thursday because of hot weather. 

Metro-North commuters dealt with platform changes and 15-minute delays on Friday. 

"I think it's time for America to care about infrastructure," said commuter Sonia Hu. 

As work continues, riders traveling between Stamford and Rye to Grand Central Terminal will need to use the outbound platform, while customers traveling to New Haven will need to use the inbound platform, MTA officials said.

Commuters should anticipate minor delays, listen for announcements at the station and check Metro-North's website for the latest updates. 

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