Connecticut’s poor stewardship of its rail system slows travel throughout New England every day — and now has thrown it into chaos. On Friday evening, a commuter train on state-owned tracks in Fairfield, Conn., derailed, colliding with another train. Thankfully, no passengers were killed. But the accident shut down travel in both directions. Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor service shares the same tracks, so all through service between Boston and New York ground to a halt, too. Trains between South Station and Manhattan are not expected to resume until at least mid-week.
The accident happened on a stretch of the route that is a familiar irritant to regular Amtrak riders. Trains from Boston zip through Massachusetts and Rhode Island, only to slow down after passing New Haven. That section of the corridor is owned by the state of Connecticut, which does not maintain it to high-speed standards.