FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Commuters will again be faced with limited train and bus service Friday due to the loss of power affecting a stretch of railroad along Metro-North's New Haven Line.
Regular service between Stamford and Grand Central Terminal was stopped Wednesday morning after a power outage in Mount Vernon, N.Y., which affects an approximately 8-mile stretch of railway, Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said Thursday.
Until that stretch of the railroad is powered again, Metro-North is running limited service using diesel-fueled trains from Stamford to Grand Central. The railroad has deployed a fleet of 24 diesel trains, Anders said.
Because of the limited service, ridership is well below normal capacity. On Thursday, for example, Anders said Metro-North carried about half of its normal New Haven Line ridership of 39,000 during the morning peak service.
“About a third of them took New Haven Line trains,” she said. “Others shifted to the Harlem Line, which experienced an increase in ridership of about 25 percent—an additional 5,800 in the A.M. peak. This includes 2,100 who took Metro-North and transit’s bus shuttle from Rye to White Plains.”
Riders found ways to deal with the diminished service Thursday. Mark Kaicher of Greenwich asked his wife to drive him to the Harrison train station.
"It's a minor inconvenience," he said. "They're working out the kinks. I can't complain too much. They usually have reliable service, this is just something beyond their control."
Bea Richardson of Norwalk was more frustrated. "I think they're doing a great job of informing us what's happening. Not so much with scheduling the train service," she said.
As a train pulled into the station, Richardson was disappointed it wasn't the one she needed. She said she wished the service were more reliable and didn't seemingly change every half-hour.
Below is Metro-North’s service schedule for Friday.
AM Peak Service
To Grand Central:
From New Haven to Stamford train service will be provided every 20 to 30 minutes and will connect with:
-Limited diesel train service from Stamford operating directly to Harlem-125th Street and Grand Central Terminal
-Limited local train service every 20 to 30 minutes from Stamford through Rye Stations; connecting with express bus service to White Plains Station for Harlem Line train service to Grand Central
From Harrison to Grand Central Terminal service will be provided as follows:
-Limited local train service every 20 to 30 minutes from Harrison through New Rochelle Stations and operating directly to Fordham, Harlem-125th Street and Grand Central Terminal
-Bus Service from Pelham and Mount Vernon East to Mount Vernon West for Harlem Line train service
From Grand Central:
-Limited diesel train service will be provided every 30 to 40 minutes from Grand Central and making all local stops to Stamford; with hourly connections at Stamford for train service to New Haven.
AM Off-Peak Service
To Grand Central:
-Hourly shuttle service between New Haven (departing every 45 minutes after the hour) and Stamford with local train service operating every half hour between Stamford and Grand Central Terminal.
From Grand Central:
-Train service operating every half hour (:04 and :34 after the hour) out of Grand Central making all local stops to Stamford with hourly connections at Stamford for train service to New Haven.
PM Peak Service from Grand Central Terminal
For Stations Stamford through New Haven:
Starting at 4 p.m. – Express diesel train service from Grand Central Terminal and Harlem-125th Street to Stamford (30-minute frequency 4 to 5 p.m., 15-minute frequency 5 to 6:30 p.m. and 30-minute frequency 6:30 to 8 p.m.) connecting to electric train service making all local stops to New Haven
For Stations Rye to Old Greenwich:
Starting at 4:30 p.m. – Customers bused from White Plains to Rye to board electric train (30-minute frequency)
Waterbury Branch – Replacement Buses; Danbury and New Canaan Branches – Shuttle Train Service
For Stations New Rochelle to Harrison:
Starting at 4:11 p.m. – Diesel service from Grand Central Terminal and Harlem-125th Street (30-minute frequency)
Mount Vernon East and Pelham:
Customers bused from Mount Vernon West station on the Harlem Line
Off-peak outbound from Grand Central Terminal service resumes at 8 p.m.