November 14, 2013
Metro-North Railroad Completes Major Track Improvement in the Bronx And Introduces New Schedules Sunday, November 17
Service on the Danbury Branch Increases 27%
MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced that it will complete a major track improvement project in the Bronx this weekend that will improve reliability with all four tracks in the area back in service for the first time since the intensive upgrade began July 1.
In addition to the return of all four tracks to service in a six-mile stretch from Woodlawn to Melrose, track speed will be increased by 15 miles per hour to 75 mile per hours on three of the four tracks in the area for the first time in five years.
Since the summer, railroad forces have:
- Removed 5,381 concrete tie
- Installed 6,610 new wood ties
- Installed 2,350 tons of new stone ballas
- Trenched 6,350 feet of the right-of-way shoulder or between tracks to improve drainage
- Installed new rail on various curves
- Welded rail joints and installed new insulated joints
- Excavated and removed 4,702 cubic yards of mud created by poor drainage along the tracks
- Removed a significant amount of debris, garbage and graffiti on railroad property
“This intensive focus on track improvements is critical to the safe and reliable operation of the railroad,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut. “The complete rebuilding of this section of track is a major milestone in our ongoing effort to improve track conditions systemwide.”
“I want to thank our customers for their patience during the past six months as we expedited this extraordinary and essential track work,” Permut said. “We recognize the impact it has had on the railroad’s ability to provide reliable, on-time service. Metro-North’s goal is always to minimize delays even though track capacity was reduced by up to 50% during the recent work. With the completion of this major project, customers should notice improvements in the service.”
This weekend, workers will be removing bridgeplates at Fordham, Botanical Garden, Williams Bridge and Woodlawn stations, which have been in use when the inbound and outbound local tracks were out of service for work and which cause slow loading and unloading at these stations. (To reach trains stopped on the inside or express tracks, bridgeplates span the track next to the platform and allow access to the trains.)
New timetables that go into effect on Sunday, November 17, reflect this progress, including shorter running times for trains to and from New Haven on both weekdays and weekends.
On the Harlem Line, there are minor adjustments to some weekday trains but no changes to weekend service.
There are no changes to the Hudson Line schedule.
Busing continues weekdays and weekends for Melrose and Tremont stations while right-of-way improvements continue for an additional two miles from Melrose south to the Harlem River Lift Bridge. Additional track work also is underway elsewhere on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Lines. This extended work last through the end of the year, with minimal impact to service expected.
On the Danbury Branch, a new signal system will provide a better, safer, more reliable operation and enables schedule improvements to weekday reverse peak and off peak service with the addition of three new shuttle trains making round trips between Danbury and South Norwalk.
The addition of six trains a day by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, a 27% increase, is the largest increase in Danbury Branch service since Metro-North’s inception in 1983.
Customers are advised to pick up a new timetable, available at outlying stations and in Grand Central Terminal or view one at our Schedules Page.