Limited Metro North service to be available for Thursday commute, buses will be added

FI-metro-north_trainWith Metro North service on the New Haven line from Stamford to Grand Central Station expected to be extremely limited for some time due to an electrical issue, buses will be provided for commuters headed to New York City on Thursday morning.

Greenwich is right in the thick of the problem as many commuters from town rely on Metro North to get back and forth to work. Service was suspended early Wednesday morning due to an electrical issue involing a feeding line and while repairs are underway to restore power to the line, Gov. Dannel Malloy said it could take weeks for service to be fully restored.

Diesel trains will be used but this will be extremely limited. Because of that buses are being added, beginning with the Thursday morning commute until further notice.

According to the MTA, for commuters to Grand Central, train service New Haven to Stamford will be provided every 20 to 30 minutes and will connect with:

• Limited diesel train service from Stamford  operating directly to Harlem to 125th Street and Grand Central Terminal;

• Limited local train service will run every 20 to 30 minutes from Stamford through Rye, connecting with express bus service to White Plains Station for Harlem Line train service to Grand Central.

Limited diesel train service will be provided every 30to 40 minutes from Grand Central Terminal and making all local stops to Stamford, with hourly connections at Stamford for train service to New Haven.

Shuttle trains will operate on the New Canaan and Danbury branches.

Buses will be available on the Waterbury Branch.

The service plan can be found at http://web.mta.info/supplemental/mnr/mnr_weather_info.html.

The exact nature of what happened to shut down electrical service to the tracks has not yet been made public. Con Edison reported that the 138-kilovolt feeder cable failed at about 5:22 a.m. Wednesday. The failure nearly brought all train traffic into New York’s Grand Central Station to a halt.

A Con Ed representative said Wednesday that another feeder normally providing service to the New Haven line was out on scheduled repairs to accommodate Metro-North upgrades on their equipment.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Mr. Malloy cautioned commuters that the repairs could take about three weeks and commuters should prepare for more crowded trains. While he hopes the problem can be rectified soon, Mr. Malloy told commuters to plan for lengthy delays.

“I think people need to now assume this is a long-term problem,” Mr. Malloy said.

Monthly New Haven line customer tickets will be honored along the Harlem line, though Mr. Malloy encouraged commuters to make other plans, including telecommuting or carpooling to cut down on the traffic.

Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said that while New Haven line users can board on the Harlem line, commuter parking lots there are already crowded regularly. Mr. Donovan said it is “strongly suggested” that New Haven line commuters get dropped off at those Harlem line stops rather than try to park in New York.

Emily Moser, a commuter who runs the blog Iridetheharlemline.com, said that parking would be a concern if Connecticut riders decided to park at Harlem line stations.

“Many stations on the Harlem Line have large lots with daily parking, but it’s of course first come first served. Getting there early would be a very good suggestion. The further south you get, the harder it might be to find parking,” Ms. Moser said.

The best spots to park, Ms. Moser said, would be the Southeast and Goldens Bridge stations, which have large lots and plenty of parking.

More updates will be posted to Greenwich-post.com as it becomes available and check Twitter.com/greenwichpost for the latest and quickest news about the commute.

 

Hersam Acorn Newspaper’s John Kovach contributed to this story.

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