Metro North New Haven line disruption
4:56 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Update on the status of Metro North's New Haven line

Credit Craig LeMoult

Troubles on Metro North have continued into a second week, but officials say things should be able to return to normal by next week. MTA officials estimate service should be fully restored by Tuesday, Oct. 8. Details on the power restoration from Con Edison are online here.

For now, Metro North has expanded its capacity to handle up to half of its normal ridership through the use of electric and diesel trains, following last week's electrical failure. Metro North is also providing places for commuters to park their cars, where they can take public transportation to New York City. Metro North President Howard Permut acknowledged at a press conference Sunday that there would be crowded trains this week.

“You can’t carry all the people with half the trains on the line," said Permut. "So we have put together a very robust plan that involves four different locations where we’re asking people to go to so that they can get into the city at a minimum of inconvenience.”

Metro North is making a total of 8,600 parking spaces available at:

  • Orchard Beach in the Bronx, where shuttle buses will take passengers to the New York City subway
  • Rye Playland, where shuttle buses will go to the White Plains Harlem line station
  • Yankee Stadium, which is walking distance to several subway lines
  • Kensico Dam in Valhalla, which will have buses to the North White Plains station on the Harlem line, and is a short walk to the Valhalla station on that line.

More details on the alternative options are online here.

New Haven line tickets are being honored on the Hudson and Harlem lines. Buses are operating between Waterbury and Bridgeport.

Meanwhile, two U.S. Senators are calling for an investigation to find out what caused the power outage last Wednesday.  Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut spoke Sunday at a press conference at Grand Central Terminal. Here's Mark Herz's report:

Schumer said while everyone expects a power cable can fail—which is what caused the current disruption—no one expects restoration of service to take weeks, especially when there’s supposed to be backup power, and that failed too. Blumenthal said there was “no possible justification” for relying on the failed 36-year-old power cable, saying it was beyond its useful life. The senators say they’ve sent a letter to federal and state officials asking them to investigate Con Ed and the MTA, which oversees Metro-North. Blumenthal said he has requested a Congressional hearing as well.

Amtrak says it's offering limited express service between New York and Boston, which had been suspended following last week's outage. On Sunday, Amtrak said the successful testing of a temporary electrical system to power limited service on the New Haven Line will also allow for limited Acela Express service Monday. A spokesman says there will be five Acela Express trains operating in both directions. There are normally 10. Amtrak says it will be using diesel trains and warned of possible delays. Amtrak details are online here.