NEW CANAAN — While there were no reports of injuries Thursday morning in what Metro-North Railroad called a “minor derailment,” the incident inconvenienced riders and drew criticism.
The train that derailed in New Canaan was slowly being moved into the station’s yard when a wheel left the tracks, rail officials said. The mishap caused up to 60-minute delays for commuters, because the disabled train was blocking other rail traffic.
No passengers were on board and crew members were not hurt, Metro-North said.
But state Sen. Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, said the incident was still worrisome.
“The New Canaan line is popular, and has all the things the other branches should have,” she said, referring to improvements in New Canaan that have been long sought for other branches, such as the Danbury line, which still uses diesel trains.
“This is of great concern,” Boucher said. “What is disconcerting is, what if there had been passengers on board?”
Metro-North Spokesman Aaron Donovan said the train was “being moved into the New Canaan yard briefly, with the intent that it would relay back out and be put into service for passengers.”
The cause of the derailment remained under investigation by Metro-North, Donovan said. A spokesperson for the National Transportation Board said that agency would not conduct an additional investigation into the mishap.
Metro-North and other rail carriers have a recent history of serious accidents, including the May 2013 derailment in Bridgeport that injured more than 70 passengers. The cause was of that incident was determined to be a section of broken track.
In December 2013, a Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx after the engineer fell asleep, killing four people and injuring 63. Recently, two railroad workers were killed when an Amtrak train crashed into a backhoe that was on the tracks near Philadelphia.
“It is spring break week for the local schools so ridership is down,” Cameron noted.
“I don’t know any details on the derailment,” Cameron said. “One photo I saw made it look like it was on a grade crossing, maybe Grove Street or Richmond Hill. That’s technically in the New Canaan “yard,” but it’s not really a yard. I know they did a lot of grade crossing work at Grove Street recently.”
The incident caused the cancellation of two trains from the New Canaan station to Grand Central Terminal. Substitute bus service was provided on the line for the 10:02 a.m. train departing Stamford making all stops to New Canaan.