Train Derailment Causes Local Travel Troubles

Photo courtesy of Flickr user HelevticaFanatic.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user HelevticaFanatic.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user HelevticaFanatic.

In the days after the Metro-North Train derailment, upstate locals are feeling the aftermath of the train’s chaos.

After the train’s derailment on Sunday, Dec. 1, commuters from the Hudson Valley and Westchester area have noticed frustrating changes in their daily travels to the city. Cortlandt resident Domenick Scolpini said as of Tuesday, there is only one track up and running for his commute to the city.

Scolpini said since the accident, his commute has been longer and more crowded than he is used to.

“My commute has been an hour longer in each direction bringing my daily time to about 14 hours a day,” Scolpini said. “I left my house at 5:30 a.m. [Monday] and I’ll be home around 7:30 p.m. It’s exhausting having to squish into a crowded subway then stand on a crowded bus then transfer to a crowded train for the rest of the way, not to mention having to drive home after.”

According to a New York Times report, the train had been going 82 miles per hour in an area that was designated 30 miles per hour. So far, there have been four fatalities and more than 70 passengers injured, with the injuries ranging from minor to severe.

There is no conclusion as to what caused the accident, The New York Times reported. However, the National Transportation Safety Board in leading an investigation as to what caused the accident.

So far, the board is reported to have been investigating both the train engineer and whether or not the equipment of the train was faulty.

Scolpini said although the time of the commute has changed drastically, the attitude and behavior of fellow commuters haven’t changed since the train’s derailment.  He said he’s heard several other commuters say they’re fine with the commute after the accident.

“Commuters are the same they’ve always been,” Scolpini said. “I’ve seen a ton of news reports with people saying its not that bad, it’s only a minor inconvenience. But people complain about everything anyway, so this is no different…minor inconvenience is something I’ve learned to expect from the MTA.”

New Paltz resident James Leo said using the  Metro-North isn’t his usual way of commuting, but that his experience using it on Monday was longer than his usual commute.

“I normally use Trailways to get to New York City,  but Monday I took Metro-North to go to the Bronx and it took me three hours each way,” Leo said.

Scolpini said the aftermath of the accident made him more frustrated with the MTA than he has been in the past, and that the accident highlights the faults he has found with the MTA in the past.

“I’m paying $343 every month to ride the train, on top of parking costs at the station,” Scolpini said. “Where does my money go? It’s not to train the drivers so they don’t drive 82 miles per hour around a turn when they should be going 30. It doesn’t stop my trains from breaking down requiring me to get off at a stop in the morning, sometimes every day for weeks straight, and transfer to a different train, and it doesn’t go towards improving the technology (or cleanliness) of the trains themselves.”