An Explanation for Yesterday's (Tuesday, 9/18) Delays
As yesterday's storm moved through the region, it caused damage resulting in extensive delays on all three lines.
A total of 20 trees were either blocking tracks or wrapped in overhead wires during the storm. The downed trees on each line forced us to reroute trains or operate on fewer tracks.
For the entire evening, we were cautious to operate safely during the inclement weather, and our trains began to experience "slippery rail." As a result, speed restrictions were enacted throughout the territory.
These conditions are created by a slimy substance left by crushed leaves on our rails, which get even more slippery after it rains. As our trains attempt to speed up or slow down, the wheels slip and slide along the rails. In severe cases, the train will automatically make an emergency stop because the on-board computer system perceives "slip-sliding" as excessive speed. This slip-sliding and braking can also create flat spots on the train's wheels, forcing us to take much-needed equipment out of service for repairs.
Reducing speed helps combat this problem. However, trains could only operate at a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour throughout the territory, slowing your commute.
Storm-related problems began at approximately 2 PM, when a tree was knocked down, blocking three of four tracks just north of Fordham Station. This created major congestion on the New Haven and Harlem lines.
Incidents by line included:
On the New Haven Line: Adding to the delays was the fact that power was knocked out to sections of the overhead wire, caused, in part, by tree limbs entangled in the wires from Mount Vernon East to Cos Cob. Again, this took tracks out of service.
Throughout the entire evening, several more trees fell at various locations along the line. Crews were dispatched from Stamford to patrol the tracks, removing downed trees as they found them.
Downed trees also caused delays on the Danbury and New Canaan branches.
On the Harlem Line: In addition to the fallen tree in the Bronx, the storm also knocked down trees throughout the evening in the vicinities of Tuckahoe, Crestwood, White Plains, Golden's Bridge and Purdy's. Again, crews patrolling the tracks removed the downed trees as they found them.
On the Hudson Line: The storm knocked down trees between Glenwood and Greystone, and between Peekskill and Garrison. In addition, high water conditions near Riverdale added to the delays.
Although crews worked throughout the evening to repair storm damage, we were not able to restore normal service on all three lines until after 11 PM.
We regret any inconvenience you may have experienced as a result of these weather-related problems.
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