FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – After enduring nearly a week of delays caused by a power outage along Metro-North's New Haven Line, Fairfield County train commuters got the good news Monday that repairs could be done a week sooner than predicted.
Early predictions said it could take until Oct. 14 to fully repair the power problem in Mount Vernon, N.Y., that has disrupted train service. But trains could be fully up and running for commuters by Oct. 8 in New York and Connecticut, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Monday.
And as of Monday, the New Haven Line was running at 50 percent capacity, said Aaron Donovan, an MTA press officer. “And that’s projected to stay in place until Oct. 7.”
Currently, Metro-North is able to run two electric trains at a time on the 8-mile stretch of track between Harrison and Mount Vernon, the location of the power outage, after Con Edison installed a temporary transformer in Harrison.
Until full service is restored, the MTA is offering a bus and shuttle service for customers to bypass the area.
Once ConEd has full power in place, Donovan says the MTA will need about 12 hours of testing to ensure that the trains can run safely through the area.
The MTA board will meet Tuesday morning to discuss the power failure and credits for customers who have been inconvenienced.
“Approving a refund to commuters isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s what they need to do. It’s incumbent on the MTA and ConEd to deal with this problem and get it fixed, and it’s critical that Connecticut residents get reimbursed as quickly as possible,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said Monday in a statement.
State Sen. Bob Duff echoed the governor, adding: “The service disruption remains a major inconvenience for commuters, but the outlook now is better than was first reported. It seems that the MTA has heard the call of the governor and others of us who have insisted on a quicker timetable for restoration.”
Until train service is fully restored on the New Haven Line, Metro-North customers will continue using the schedule that was put in place Monday. (Details can be found online here.)
“Customers are prone to experience heightened crowding, and that’s why we set up a series of four park and rides,” Donovan said.
The parking lots are located at:
- The garage at 8 E. 153rd St. near Yankee Stadium with 1,500 parking space and 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 with 5,000 parking spaces and a free shuttle to Pelham Bay Park's #6 subway.
- Rye Playland with 1,500 parking spots and a bus to the White Plains Station on the Harlem Line.
- Kensico Dam at Park Drive West in Valhalla with 600 parking places and a bus to the North White Plains Station for Harlem Line Service.
A total of 6,800 parking spaces are available, but only 60 cars used the service as of Monday, Donovan said.
The service will continue to operate through Tuesday, when Metro-North will re-evaluate the program.
“We saw less than expected use of those, but it's only the first day,” Donovan said. “Our goal is to provide as many options as possible.”