New Haven Line
Monday, October 07, 2013
Now that Metro North's New Haven Line is operating on a normal schedule for the first time in nearly two weeks, some are asking how the system was so vulnerable that a failure on a single power feeder line could cause such a problem.
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
By Kate Hinds
Following a power outage that has curtailed service on the nation's most heavily traveled commuter rail line, New York's MTA says it will reimburse ticket holders.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
By Kate Hinds
Even though the New Haven Line now has some "bare bones electrical power," Monday's commute will only have half the capacity of a normal one -- and passengers should prepare for crowded conditions. Here's what you need to know.
Friday, September 27, 2013
If you're one of the 125,000 people who rely on the Metro North New Haven line, do you have a good workaround to getting to the city now that a power failure has snarled your commute? And is this SNAFU changing your mind about living in the suburbs in the first place? Or is it changing the way you think about whether you actually need to be physically at work at all? Call us: 212-433-9692.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
By Kate Hinds
It could take weeks to restore the broken power equipment on the nation's busiest commuter rail line.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
By Jim O'Grady
(New York, NY - WNYC) Performance on a major New York commuter rail line during last week's heat wave was a tale of the two states it serves. Outdated technology in Connecticut led to multiple train breakdowns and stranded passengers on the New Haven Line, which connects that state to Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. One train stalled between stations when overhead power lines sagged and tangled, leaving passengers sweltering and stuck for almost an hour.
All the while, trains on New York tracks ran smoothly.
The NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority says that's because New York State invested early last decade in a new overhead power system that automatically takes up the slack when wires start drooping in the heat. New York also bought new train cars that held up fairly well during the Northeast's bitter and blizzardy winter of 2010-2011.
MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said Connecticut did neither, and paid for it during both seasons.
The authority was forced to curtail service on the New Haven line by 10 percent in January when the old trains broke down faster than Connecticut's cramped work yards could repair them. But Metro-North's Harlem Line, which runs newer trains purchased by New York in 2000, didn't have those problems.
Similarly, New York invested in overhauling its overhead power system for trains in the last decade. Towers that hold up the wires now have counterweights that lower and tighten the wires when they sag. Connecticut has no such system. Last week, the NY MTA tried to prevent the overhead lines from tangling by ordering trains on its lines to slow from a normal cruising speed of 70 m.p.h. to 50 m.p.h. It worked in New York but not Connecticut.
Ms. Anders said the overhead wires provide electrical current by making contact with a four-foot wide metal bar on the top of a train. Last Friday's high temperature of 104 degrees caused the overhead wires in Connecticut to sag so much that they slipped off the side of the metal bar on some trains and tangled, cutting off power and halting those trains.
"It goes without saying that antique fleet and an antique infrastructure and power system is not going to perform well in any temperature or weather extremes, whether it's snow or heat," she said.
Connecticut has been trying to catch up. Governor Dannel Malloy agreed to spend $400 million dollars on new overhead wires and $750 million dollars on new train cars better suited to the cold weather. The new cars have started arriving but the new overhead power system won't be done until 2016.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
By Jim O'Grady
(New York, NY -Jim O'Grady, WNYC) Riders on Metro North Railroad's New Haven Line will get their regular service back sooner than expected on Monday.
The NYC MTA abruptly cut the line's schedule by 10 percent in early February after winter storms disabled its old cars faster than repairs could be made. Most of those cuts were made to rush hour trains on the already crowded commuter line from Manhattan to Connecticut. For years, the line has routinely run trains with fewer cars than platforms can handle, leading to standing-room-only crushes during peak times.
The MTA has said the service problems can be traced to a funding gap caused by Connecticut's refusal to pay for new trains for years, beginning in 2000. (A fuller explanation of the funding problem is here.)
A return to full service wasn't expected until spring, with the arrival of new train cars.
But this morning, Metro-North President Howard Permut said the MTA activated eight new cars that--along with more repairs--will allow the railroad to run more trains.
"Next week, the trains will be crowded," he said. "But they will not be nearly as crowded as they were during January, when they were jammed."
Permut talked to reporters at Grand Central Station this morning, having ridden on the maiden trip of the new train cars from Stamford, Connecticut.