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Scare With Fishermen Causes Huge Metro-North Delays In Westport

Riders on the New Haven Line experienced long delays Sunday night in the Westport area while police investigated whether a fisherman had been hit by a train. It turned out there were no injuries.
Riders on the New Haven Line experienced long delays Sunday night in the Westport area while police investigated whether a fisherman had been hit by a train. It turned out there were no injuries. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. — Riders on Metro-North faced delays of up to an hour after a conductor feared a train might have hit a fisherman who illegally crossed the tracks Sunday night, according to Westport police.

The problem began at about 8:15 p.m. when Westport police received a call from Metro-North regarding the possible pedestrian strike on the tracks east of the Saugatuck station, Westport police spokesman Lt. Matt Gouveia said.

A Metro-North conductor "observed two individuals carrying fishing equipment crossing the tracks in an unauthorized area," Gouveia said. "The conductor attempted to slow the train and was not sure if the train struck either of the parties."

A different conductor spoke to two fishermen in the area after the train stopped "but was unsure if they were one and the same," he said.

As a result, that train was stopped along with all other trains on the New Haven Line between the Westport station and the Greens Farms station, Gouveia said.

Westport Police and MTA Police conducted an investigation and found an unoccupied vehicle with fishing equipment at the nearby boat ramp on Underhill Parkway, "heightening the response" by police, he said.

Officers eventually made contact with the registered owner of the car and confirmed that he had spoken to the conductor, Gouveia said.

"Once it was determined that no one had been injured and the closure of the tracks was not necessary, normal train traffic was allowed to resume," he said.

The police investigation was continuing.

During the delay, Metro-North issued updates via Twitter. At one point, they said to impatient train riders, "We understand this is a huge inconvenience but please be patient as we gather info."

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