FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Metro-North train service will increase to about half its normal levels Monday on the New Haven Line, and riders in Fairfield County should brace for continuing delays all this week, Gov. Dannel Malloy said.
“All indications right now point to another tough commute,” Malloy said in a statement Sunday. “Even with some electric service restored, there will be very limited service and significant overcrowding on trains."
Con Edison has been working since Wednesday to try to restore electricity to an 8-mile section of track in the area of Mount Vernon, N.Y., after the failure of a main feeder cable brought trains to a halt, Metro-North said in a statement.
Additional electrical power will be provided Monday by temporary substations installed by Con Ed as an interim solution. These substations do not operate at the full capacity of the Mount Vernon substation and are not sufficient for Metro-North to operate full New Haven Line service, the statement said.
“Con Edison’s temporary substation allows us to run very limited electric trains through this critical section of the New Haven Line for the first time since power was disrupted last week, but it’s still far less than the normal service our customers expect,” said MTA Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast. “While Con Edison works to restore full power to their damaged feeder cable, the MTA is doing everything it can to accommodate New Haven Line customers on other services.”
Due to these power constraints, Metro-North has developed a service plan that will allow a limited number of electric trains to travel between Harrison and Mount Vernon. Combined with the interim diesel service, this provides about 50 percent of normal train service on the New Haven Line. The schedule for Monday's train service can be found here on the Metro-North website.
Metro-North warned customers to be prepared for delays, crowded trains and complicated commutes.
"If at all possible, I would urge residents to consider working from home or shifting their time of travel to off-peak periods," Malloy said. "If you have to drive, considering carpooling. Our state Department of Transportation is continuing to do their best to ensure that travel on the roadways moves as efficiently as possible during this situation.”
The governor has blasted the disruptions for commuters and called for refunds for regular riders. “Connecticut commuters should not even be in this situation,” said Malloy. “For the last five days, I have been making it clear to Con Ed and the MTA that a delay like the one they initially proposed was completely unacceptable. While I’m glad they moved their deadline up at my urging, I want to re-emphasize that they need to alleviate this problem as quickly as possible.”
A permanent fix to the failed Con Edison feeder cable is still required to restore full power to this crucial 8-mile segment of the New Haven Line. Con Edison and the New York Power Authority are working around the clock to make those repairs.
Four free park-and-ride lots have also been established for access to Harlem Line trains, which will have added cars to handle the crowds. A pdf of a map from Metro-North can be found here. A total of 8,.600 additional parking space will be available in the following locations in New York State:
- The garage at 8 E. 153rd St. near Yankee Stadium will have 1,500 parking space and allow walking access to Yankees-East 153rd Street Station on the Hudson Line Service.
- Orchard Beach at Pelham Bridge Road/Shore Road and Orchard Beach Road will offer 5,000 parking spaces and a free shuttle to Pelham Bay Park's #6 subway.
- Rye Playland will offer 1,500 parking spots and a bus to the White Plains Station on the Harlem Line.
- Kensico Dam at Park Drive West in Valhalla will offer 600 parking places and a bus to the North White Plains Station for Harlem Line Service.
Officials will be available at each of the park and ride locations to provide additional information and assistance.
Customers can also go directly to stations served by the Harlem and Hudson Lines. Extra cars have been added to select Harlem Line trains, but there will still be very crowded conditions.
A full repair is not expected for another week, officials said.
“This service plan will remain in effect until Con Edison is able to provide full power through the Mount Vernon feeder to the New Haven Line,” Permut said. “They now expect to complete their repairs by Oct. 7, with the goal of giving Metro-North time to complete required testing and restore full train service by Oct. 8. Until then, we thank our customers for their patience and flexibility during this disruption.”