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As a reminder, a simulated rail accident training drill will occur on Saturday, September 14, 2019 between 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. in New Haven. The drill, which will appear and sound realistic, will take place as part of ongoing safety training, practice, reinforcement, and refinement exercises designed to achieve the highest level of safety along the CTrail Hartford Line and Shore Line East. The drill will include volunteer passengers, including children, who will take the role of passengers injured as the result of a simulated head-on collision with another train. The simulation will include actual calls to on-duty emergency responders (fire and police), who will travel to the scene and work to rescue simulated accident victims.


The simulated accident, which will occur at the Belle Dock rail yard at 435 East Street, New Haven, is designed to reinforce and fine-tune the efficacy of emergency response protocols of train crews, dispatchers, first responders, and others, as well as the coordination and real-life application of communication and chain-of-command protocols. This drill supplements the extensive and ongoing training for all involved groups. After the drill concludes, a debrief session will occur where participants share their observations and discuss their insights to disseminate and reinforce vital information. The drill is required by the Federal Railroad Administration, but is also an important component of CTDOT’s ongoing safety training and reinforcement practice.


“As we undertake this important exercise, the Connecticut Department of Transportation would like to alert the public and media to assure them that while it may appear to be a real rail accident, it is not. We do not want to cause undue worry,” said CTDOT Commissioner Joe Giulietti. “We are releasing this information to prevent unnecessary public concern and to also allow the participants of this important drill to focus on their duties fully, in order to learn and provide the safest service to the public.”


CTDOT requests that media and the public do not attempt to be onsite for the simulation training exercise so that first responders, volunteers, train operator personnel, and other key parties can focus on the exercise fully. However, CTDOT will respond to public and media inquiries regarding the exercise, including providing additional information, interviews with participants, and photo and video content of the event.

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