Metro-North Track Crew Breaks Rail Maintenance Record

Metro-North has set a new track record. A Metro-North Railroad crew working on the Waterbury Branch on October 9, 2018, safely installed a record-breaking 1,161 railroad ties in a single day, surpassing by two ties the previous record set in 1984 between Brewster and Dover Plains on the Harlem Line.

“I want to thank the track team for their dedication and record-setting hard work,” said Catherine Rinaldi, Metro-North President. “It’s impossible to operate the railroad safely and efficiently without well maintained track, and this work will help keep service running smoothly for our New Haven Line customers.”

“Our track department saw the opportunity to set a record, and they seized it,” said Glen Hayden, Vice President of Engineering for Metro-North.

The tie work was performed on a continuous outage of single track to the south of Oronoque Road in Milford, Connecticut.  With no adjacent track to inhibit the work, no third rail, and no need to stop work for passing trains, the crew could dedicate complete focus to installing ties.

“This achievement not only speaks to good old-fashioned hard work, but to the genuine sense of pride that Metro-North track crews have in their role maintaining the safety and integrity of the railroad,” said Hayden.   

During the October 8 through October 12 Waterbury Branch service outage, crews also cut back trees along the tracks, surfaced track and welded joints. 

Only a week before these infrastructure improvements to the Waterbury Branch, Metro-North crews made upgrades to the Danbury Branch, including: installing new rails, removing old insulted joints, field welding twelve joints, cutting brush and installing three Positive Train Control antenna poles and radio cases. 

While buses were substituted for trains during each of these outages, Metro-North employees at the railroad’s North White Plains shop performed maintenance on the locomotives that normally run on the branches to improve reliability. 

“Metro-North’s work maintaining the railroad’s infrastructure is indicative of how the State of Connecticut is working to improve commuting for our customers,” said James Redeker, Connecticut State Department of Transportation Commissioner.  “This work will help keep the railroad running efficiently for years to come.”