WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Sunday’s train derailment along the Metro-North Hudson Line has left some Westchester residents anxious about the service following the latest of several such incidents this year, but most vowed to keep riding the rails.
This is the first time in the 30-year history of Metro-North Railroad that a derailment caused a fatality. On Monday, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the train was traveling at 82 miles per hour when it derailed; nearly triple the speed trains should travel in that stretch of track.
“It’s strange, really," New Rochelle resident Kevin Jenkins said. "You think of railroads as a safe alternative, and you would consider them the most reliable source of transportation.
"I mean, how many things can really go wrong on a train? I think I’d still be willing to travel by train, but it’s scary to think about.”
Westchester commuters were forced to find alternative routes to get to work n Monday, as the Hudson line remained suspended as repairs and the investigation into the crash continued. Limited service will remain on Tuesday, and the large crowds are expected to persist.
There will be 500 parking spaces once again opened up for commuters at Kensico Dam, which is within walking distance to the Valhalla Station. Southeast Station near Brewster will also have additional parking along Independent Way, which is also within walking distance of a Harlem line train.
“I’ve taken the train to work almost daily for 20 years, and I can’t remember anything like this ever happening,” Eastchester resident Ken Brown, 62, said. “Between the mayhem that broke out in Mount Vernon a few months back, and now this, they’re having a tough go of things.”
Despite Metro-North’s struggles in 2013, most train riders agreed that they would frequent the rails again without any hesitation.
Steve Lee, 22, of White Plains, said that he doesn’t use the train daily, but would jump right back in on his next trip into the city.
“It was an accident. Nobody wanted this to happen, particularly the people responsible,” he said. “If we stopped driving every time there was a car accident, there wouldn’t be anyone on the road. This is the same idea.”