told the Stamford Advocate. "Especially if you don't have a car." There were bus bridges to get people home last night, but there are no buses, let alone trains, all weekend. This evening Eric Gershon of Yale News tweeted, "830 pm Peter Pan bus NYC to New Haven packed due to Fri MetroN #train #derailment. Long lines, short tempers at Port Authority."
Jim Cameron of the appointed Connecticut
Anyway, there's a major rail outage, and that means it's time to play the "what if these people actually gave a shit about the riders?" game! Back in 2007, the bridge over the Thames River between Groton and New London was being replaced, and in 2009 it was the Niantic Bridge being replaced. In both cases Amtrak completely suspended service for an entire weekend, and in both cases I pointed out parallel train lines that could be used to bring people between New York and Boston, in particular the Inland Route (currently a slow, non-electrified line with low platforms) and the Air Line (currently railbanked as a trail).
PDF) for the Northeast Corridor includes a parallel route through the middle of Connecticut. Unfortunately, that part of the Vision is expected to cost $58 billion (with a "b") and not go live until 2040.
In the meantime we can work on the existing track. It would cost a lot less than $58 billion to rebuild the New Haven and Derby Railroad, abandoned in 1932, and to upgrade the track on the Berkshire Railroad and the New York and New England, electrify them and install high level platforms at stations. This would ensure that Northeast Corridor and Metro-North trains can go from New Haven to Stamford and get back on the main line, or to Brewster and get on the Harlem Line without having to pass through Bridgeport. (For that last you would also have to convert the Harlem Line to catenary power.)
For a lot less money, you could simply have diesel locomotives pull Amtrak cars through the Inland Route and along the unelectrified track from Meriden through Waterbury and Danbury to Stamford and maybe White Plains, with temporary platforms at a few stations. You could run extra shuttle service from Bridgeport and New Haven to meet the train in Meriden and Waterbury, and in Stamford and White Plains people could transfer to electric trains to Manhattan. It would be slower and less frequent than normal service, but it would be a lot better than nothing.
With the way that Amtrak and Metro-North are currently handling this, it looks like there are a lot of Connecticut commuters who will have a long, slow commute on Monday. I hope you'll all take the time to write to Governor Molloy and to Jim Cameron urging them to put an alternate route in place.