FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- With a huge storm headed for Fairfield County with 6 to 12 inches of snow, Metro-North is giving tips to train riders on how to travel successfully.
Metro-North attempts to remain on a regular weekday schedule for most snowstorms but delays can and will occur, the commuter railroad said.
Trains sometimes change to a reduced weekend schedule, or in extreme cases, a reduced winter schedule or suspended service.
Metro-North says its top priority in the winter is making sure that switches – the interlocking tracks that allow rail traffic controllers to route trains from one track to another – are working properly throughout any storm. The railroad is activating switch heaters, lubricating the switches and treating them with anti-freeze agents.
In advance of a storm, Metro-North employees begin prepping the fleet. Door panels are sprayed with an anti-freeze agent; air brake lines are purged of moisture to prevent them from freezing; electric trains are fitted with special third rail shoes with holes in them to prevent snow from sticking, exposed shoes are treated with de-icers and exposed couplers are covered to keep snow out.
After a storm concludes, trains must slowly "ramp up" back to a normal schedule.
"When the storm is over, we know you expect us to operate full service immediately," the railroad said in a statement. "We will do our best to recover quickly. Please bear in mind that overcrowded conditions will still be likely. If you can travel outside of 'peak' hours, please do so."
Commuters are reminded to check live schedules and media reports before and during storms to determine if the weather is affecting the Metro-North schedule. Email and text message alerts are also available.