MTA Metro-North Railroad announced today that full train service on the New Haven Line will resume Monday morning, October 7, following successful initial overnight tests of a major new electrical substation at Mount Vernon.
The failure September 25 of a 138,000 volt Con Edison feeder cable knocked out train service in an eight-mile section of the New Haven Line, the busiest passenger rail line in the country. The outage occurred during the construction and commissioning of the new, long-planned, $50 million substation installation that will enable the railroad to increase service on the line.
“As soon as Con Edison fixed the power failure, Metro-North was on the ground speedily restoring service,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. "On behalf of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, I want to thank our customers for their patience in the face of an unprecedented, 12-day service disruption. While authorities continue to investigate the cause of this failure, I want to thank the hundreds of people who worked tirelessly and safely to make needed repairs.”
“We have coped with many challenging situations in the past, including blackouts, but this persistent power outage was especially challenging, both to our customers and to Metro-North employees who worked relentlessly to provide the best possible alternative service,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut. “We are grateful to Metro-North workers who expedited testing of the new substation once Con Edison completed its work and we are grateful most of all to our customers who persevered with us through this latest adversity.”
For the remainder of this weekend, Metro-North will provide about 70% of normal New Haven Line service while activation and breaking-in of the new substation continues.
Soon after the outage occurred, Con Edison and Metro-North electrical engineers determined that the fastest way to restore power was to expedite completion of the new substation rather than repair the failed feeder, which is not expected to be returned to service until October 22.
The railroad quickly established limited diesel train service between Stamford, CT., and Grand Central Terminal, a shuttle bus service to the Harlem Line, which was not affected by the outage, and a network of park and ride lots to get people to other subway and rail lines. Customers from New Haven had to transfer from electric trains to diesel-hauled coaches at Stamford for the remainder of the trip to New York City.
Within days, Con Edison was able to activate three huge, temporary transformers that provided limited power to the section and enabled some electric trains to operate through the affected area between Mount Vernon and Harrison stations.
Last week, the railroad carried about 80%-90% of its normal New Haven Line ridership, although most trains were crowded and travel times were longer than usual due to mostly local service.
After a special vote of the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Oct. 1, procedures were established for New Haven Line weekly and monthly ticket holders to obtain prorated credits for their future ticket purchases.
The magnitude and duration of the impact of this non-weather related event make this disruption unique in the history of the MTA and Metro-North.
Customers can apply for this credit until March 31, 2014. There will be no processing fee charged for these credit transactions.
For information about train service and the credit process, check the website at mta.info or contact Customer Service at 511 (From Connecticut, 877-690-5114).