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MTA Metro-North Railroad and the Connecticut Department of Transportation have initiated an alternative transportation plan for the east end of the New Haven Line while reconstruction efforts continue around the clock since a Metro-North train derailed and was hit by an oncoming commuter train bound for New York City on Friday.Starting today, a shuttle train will operate between New Haven and Bridgeport, Conn., and an express bus will travel to Stamford, where more trains will be available for New York City-bound riders. Also, a local bus service will be available to and from Bridgeport, Fairfield Metro, Fairfield and Westport. A fleet of 120 buses has been assembled from Connecticut Transport, MTA Bus and local companies, Metro-North officials said in a press release.The accident occurred at about 6:10 p.m. Friday, when a Metro-North train traveling to New Haven with about 300 riders derailed near an Interstate 95 overpass in Bridgeport. A Metro-North train traveling in the opposite direction carrying about 400 riders on the adjacent track then struck the derailed train. About 72 riders were injured and sent to area hospitals, according to New York City media reports.Train service is operating between South Norwalk Station and Grand Central Terminal. Metro-North service is suspended between South Norwalk and New Haven until further notice.There are four tracks on the segment of the New Haven Line, but two of them are out of service for a long-term project to replace overhead wires. On the remaining tracks, the collision caused extensive infrastructure damage, including to the track and overhead wire, Metro-North officials said. Normal service through the area is not expected to resume until a full investigation is completed, the infrastructure is fully assessed and repairs are completed, they said.Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident's cause. Investigators are studying a fractured section of rail to determine if it played a role in the accident, according to local media reports.
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