Edwin Valero was in an apartment building above the accident. At first, he said, he didn’t notice that the train had flipped over.
“I didn’t realize it had been turned over until I saw a firefighter walking on the window,” he said.
Amtrak Empire service was halted between New York City and Albany after the derailment. Amtrak said its Northeast Corridor service between Boston and Washington was unaffected.
When the NTSB gives the go-ahead, the MTA will begin efforts to restore service, Prendergast said.
Sunday’s accident is the second passenger train derailment in six months for the rail service.
On May 17, an eastbound train derailed in Bridgeport, Conn., and was struck by a westbound train. The crash injured 73 passengers, two engineers and a conductor. Eleven days later, track foreman Robert Luden was struck and killed by a train in West Haven, Conn.
In July, a freight train full of garbage derailed while using a Metro-North line, and this fall service on Metro-North’s line between New York City and Connecticut was hobbled for days after a high-voltage feeder line failed.
Earlier this month, Metro-North’s chief engineer, Robert Puciloski, told members of the NTSB investigating the May derailment and Luden’s death that the railroad is “behind in several areas,” including a five-year schedule of cyclical maintenance that had not been conducted in the area of the Bridgeport derailment since 2005.
The NTSB issued an urgent recommendation to Metro-North that it use “redundant protection,” such as a procedure known as “shunting” in which crews attach a device to the rail in a work zone alerting the dispatcher to inform approaching trains to stop.