Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday that MTA Metro-North Railroad will resume more than 98% of its regular Hudson Line service in time for Wednesday morning’s commute following last weekend’s tragic derailment. The railroad was able to clear debris, begin rebuilding tracks and restore one of the three tracks in the area that was not significantly damaged in the accident.
“Thanks to an extraordinary effort and around the clock work, over 98% of service will be restored for Hudson Line commuters in time for tomorrow morning’s rush hour,” Governor Cuomo said. “As the NTSB continues its investigation of the derailment on Sunday morning, the MTA is fully cooperating to ensure we find out exactly what caused this horrific incident that took the lives of four individuals and injured many others. The families of those we lost and those still recovering continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. I’d like to thank our Metro-North crews and first responders who have been working tirelessly to reopen the Hudson Line as quickly as possible.”
“The extraordinary work of Metro-North forces has enabled a rapid resumption of service and I commend them,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “I also want to thank Governor Cuomo for his continuing leadership during this crisis and all the first responders of the New York Police Department, the New York Fire Department and emergency workers at area hospitals for their quick response and expert assistance in dealing with this tragic incident.”
Personnel worked all night Monday to remove debris and ballast and begin laying new ties. With approval of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is leading the investigation, all rail cars were cleared from the tracks by 6 p.m. on Monday and moved to Highbridge Yard in the Bronx and Croton-Harmon Yard in Westchester where they remain impounded by the NTSB for further investigation.
About 900 gallons of diesel fuel was siphoned from the locomotive before it was removed from the accident scene and workers have used a specialized piece of equipment called a Rail Vac to remove any remaining fuel that spilled during the accident. No fuel reached either the Harlem or Hudson rivers.
Metro-North crews have been rebuilding about 800 feet of track that were damaged by Sunday’s derailment at Spuyten Duyvil in the Bronx. The section where the accident occurred has three tracks. The middle track was badly damaged and the outer track, closest to the river, was destroyed. Crews will continue to rebuild the two damaged tracks while service resumes on a single track.
As a result of that limited track capacity for a one-mile segment, six AM peak trains will be combined into three, and all customers should expect possible Hudson Line delays of 10 to 15 minutes.
On Wednesday, Dec. 4, the following trains will be cancelled/combined:
· The 7:15 AM from Scarborough to Grand Central Terminal is combined with the 7:16 AM train from Croton-Harmon, which will make all stops of both trains.
· The 7:37 AM from Ossining to Grand Central Terminal is combined with the 7:40 AM train from Croton-Harmon, which will make all stops of both trains.
· The 8:45 AM train from Greystone to Grand Central Terminal is combined with the 8:22 AM train from Croton-Harmon, which will make all stops of both trains.
The Hudson RailLink bus service will serve the Spuyten Duyvil Station, but there will be no parking at that station because of the presence of numerous heavy duty trucks and specialized track equipment needed for the rebuilding effort.
The work continues with the Track Department installing new ties and running rails, in addition to laying down new rock. New third rail that provides electricity to power the trains will be installed by the Power Department followed by the Signal Department working to restore the signal system. When that work is completed, test trains will be run before service can be resumed. This work will take all day Tuesday and likely run into the next few days. The goal is to restore all tracks as soon as possible.
Meanwhile the railroad will operate all but three of its 175 regular daily Hudson Line trains on a single track.