A train derailment at Grand Central Terminal created a rough rush hour commute for thousands of people last night


A train derailment at Grand Central Terminal created a rough rush hour commute for thousands of people last night. What’s being described as a “minor” derailment happened at 5:19 p.m. when a Metro-North train bound for Wassaic came off the rails as it was departing. There were no injuries reported, and part of the train was still next to the platform, so passengers were able to exit the train without walking on the tracks.

But the stranded train was now blocking nine other tracks, which caused delays on the New Haven line and resulted in abrupt track reassignments. “We had to do some fancy footwork in terms of reassigning tracks and combining trains,” an MTA spokesperson told ABC 7.

Approximately 750-800 passengers were on board the train when two cars and the locomotive derailed. “We were picking up speed and all of a sudden, we heard this tremendous rumbling,” one passenger told CBS 2. “It didn’t like launch off the tracks, but we felt the entire car rumbling and shaking. When we were rumbling there were looks on people’s faces, not terrified but certainly scared. It was clear something not normal was happening.”

MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan told us trains were delayed just 10-15 minutes “as we reassigned train departures to platforms that were available, and some trains were short of cars because some of our train sets were blocked in for a time. There were nine tracks taken out of service, so it took skillful and fast work by the Metro-North staff to rebalance the trains and crew members with our remaining platforms. Grand Central has a total of 44 tracks serving 26 platforms.” Service is pretty much back to normal this morning, and the incident is under investigation.

MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders also told CBS 2, “It’s not chaos. It’s not chaotic. It is different than a normal night, but it’s not chaotic at all. They’re really doing a good job of moving people home. It is inconvenient to have a combined train or have a track change but it’s certainly not chaos. Anytime a train is not on the running rails it’s serious so I’m not trying to downplay that.”

NBC NY reports that another Metro North train derailed as it pulled into a train yard in White Plains this morning. The MTA says snow caused the derailment, and the train was empty and out of service.

Metro-North is currently under federal oversight after the fatal 2013 derailment in the Spuyten Duyvil section of the Bronx. “Somebody should sue them, they are ruining the property values in Connecticut,” one angry commuter told ABC 7.

In the wake of last night’s incident, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement: “Much more than a minor inconvenience, this disturbing multiple car derailment delays and disrupts travel for countless riders. The derailment, fairly or not, recalls past incidents – renewing concerns about safety and reliability. I will be raising detailed questions about the derailment with Metro-North. I appreciate that the FRA has begun an investigation and has alerted me to the incident.”

Author: Harlem Valley News