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Commuters board trains despite jitters

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image ap"><span>AP</span></div><span class="caption-text">Officials do not rule out the possibility of the death toll rising in the Metrolink crash. (AP Photo Hector Mata)</span></div>
September 15, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Ridership appeared to be down Monday morning after Friday's deadly crash, but many regulars, even those who were on Friday's ill-fated train, returned despite their grief and jitters.For those riding on the trains, it was an emotional ride for the lives lost.

"I can't explain the thought or what I see right now with everybody on the train. It's a long morning right now, not feeling very well about it, but getting back on the train is something we gotta do," said passenger Jerry Romero.

Ready to reassure concerned commuters, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa climbed aboard the Ventura line in Chatsworth to try to restore confidence.

"I want to dispel any fears about taking the train. Safety has to be our number one concern," Villaraigosa said.

As federal investigators continue to search the crash site for answers as to what went wrong, crews work on the rails to make sure they are safe for traffic. In the morning, commuters were bused around the crash scene to catch the train in Chatsworth.

"There's no real concerns about it. There's a little apprehension on everybody's part, but I don't have any concerns about riding it. It's a good motor transportation," said passenger Bob Williams.

Before climbing aboard trains, many took time to send well wishes to the conductor who survived the fatal crash. Passengers said they are in mourning for the familiar faces they will no longer see.

"We know all of these people -- Louie, Gary. We know the engineers, we know everybody, I mean, you're on the same train every day," said passenger Patti Austin-Murray

And if all goes well with the tests, Metrolink said the entire Ventura line may be opened by 3 p.m. Monday.

- Get information on railway closures by visiting the Metrolink Web site here.

 

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