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Press Release
May 19, 2013
IMMEDIATE
MTA Metro-North Railroad Announces New Haven Line Service Plans for Next Week
Major Track Reconstruction Work Underway Around the Clock

 

MTA Metro-North Railroad and the Connecticut Department of Transportation have developed an alternate transportation plan for the east end of the New Haven Line, while intensive reconstruction efforts continue around the clock. This 31-mile section of track has been without train service since Friday night when a train derailed, affecting 30,000 customers. 
 
Beginning Monday morning, a shuttle train will operate between New Haven and Bridgeport with an express bus to Stamford, where more trains are available for New York City-bound customers.  For intermediate customers there is local bus service to/from Bridgeport, Fairfield Metro, Fairfield, and Westport.  (There will be no bus service to Southport and Greens Farms) A fleet of 120 buses has been assembled from CT Transit, MTA Bus and local companies.  
 
Customers should anticipate longer travel times and crowded buses and trains. See complete details below.
 
Considerable progress has been made in the cleanup of the derailed train cars in Bridgeport, CT. Two eight-car trains needed to be removed from the scene so that reconstruction of the track, overhead power lines, signal and power systems could begin.
 
At 9 p.m. Saturday night, the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the incident, authorized the removal of the rail cars. As of noon Sunday, seven of the cars had been towed to Bridgeport Yard and the other nine had been re-railed. Three of those will remain on Track 2 just west of the incident until the track in front of them is replaced. Then they will be taken to Bridgeport Yard, where the NTSB investigation is ongoing.
 
Also overnight, Power Department employees were able to remove all damaged overhead catenary wires and begin rehanging the many components of the system that powers the trains. They expect this work to be completed by this evening.
 
Now that all the cranes that were involved in moving the disabled cars are clear of the track area, the Track Department is clearing debris, plowing the “ballast” or loose rock that stabilizes the ties, laying new ties and fastening the rail to the ties, essentially building about 2,000 feet of all new track. This work is expected to take about two days.
 
The Power Department will reestablish connections to a nearby substation and complete the catenary work on Track 2.  
 
Once the new track is in place, the Signal Department will install wiring and components to reactivate the signal system in this section of track and test functionality of the signal system. Some of this work is necessarily done in sequence and some can be done concurrently.  Every effort is being made to expedite the repairs. All systems will be thoroughly inspected and tested before the track will return to passenger service.  Full Metro-North service will not resume until well into the work week. 
 
Service Plan in effect for Monday, May 20 and until further notice:
 
AM Peak to Grand Central
  • A shuttle train operating approximately every 20 minutes between New Haven and Bridgeport Station
  • Between Bridgeport and Stamford Stations, two bus shuttles will operate:
    • Express service from Bridgeport to Stamford Station with regular train connections to Grand Central Terminal
    • Local service between Bridgeport, Fairfield Metro, Fairfield and Westport Stations (no bus service from Green’s Farms and Southport Stations)    
  • Limited train service from Westport and East Norwalk Stations
  • Regular train service from South Norwalk Station to Grand Central Terminal
AM & PM Reverse Peak/Off-Peak Service
  • For the AM/PM Peak: Limited train service between Grand Central Terminal and Westport Station
  • For the Off-Peak: Regular train service between Grand Central Terminal and Westport Station
  • Loop bus service with connections between Bridgeport, Fairfield, Fairfield Metro and Westport Stations (no bus service from Green’s Farms and Southport Stations)
  • A train shuttle operating approximately every 20 minutes between Bridgeport and New Haven Stations
PM Peak to New Haven
  • Regular train service from Grand Central Terminal to South Norwalk Station
  • Express bus service from South Norwalk to Bridgeport Station
  • Limited train service from Grand Central Terminal to Westport and East Norwalk Stations
  • Local bus shuttle service between Westport, Fairfield, Fairfield Metro and Bridgeport Stations (no bus service from Green’s Farms and Southport Stations)    
  • A train shuttle operating approximately every 20 minutes between Bridgeport and New Haven Stations 
Regular train service will operate on the New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury Branches.
 
For train schedule information, please refer to the schedules page at www.mta.info.  
 
Customers should know before they go:
  • Travel times will be significantly longer than normal and trains will be significantly crowded 
  • Metro-North representatives will be at major New Haven Line (NHL) stations to assist customers
  • NHL Customers east of South Norwalk are encouraged to seek alternative ways to get to and from work or stagger their work schedule
  • If possible, customers are advised to use the Harlem Line as an alternative. NHL rail tickets will be cross-honored
  • ConnDOT will cross-honor NHL pre-paid rail tickets (as a temporary Bus/Rail uniticket) on I-95 Corridor Bus Service
  • Metro-North will cross-honor Amtrak tickets 
  • Sign up for free email or text message service updates at www.mta.info  
  • Visit our website for periodic service updates
  • Listen to the radio and television news: During any emergency, this is the fastest way to find out how train service is affected. We will continuously provide information to the media
  • Customers should plan to carpool if possible
Connecticut residents can call our Travel Information Center by dialing 877-690-5114 and saying "Metro-North." (New York State residents reach it by dialing 511.) The Travel Information Center will be fully staffed, and there will also be a taped message describing our current service conditions. Please be aware that the volume of calls at the Travel Information Center will dramatically increase during an emergency, and you may experience delays getting through. 
 
At your station, listen closely for public address announcements.