Darien resident Jim Cameron was one of the first people to ride Metro-North's debut M-8 train when it rolled out of Stamford at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, weeks earlier than many expected. "The ride was very smooth," said Cameron, who heads the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council. The six-car train made all the local stops on the way to Grand Central Terminal. "It's quieter than the existing cars. The windows are bigger, there's better lighting. It was very comfortable."
The new cars, which were supposed to arrive last year, have been delayed by months of technical difficulties. This
Metro-North's M-8 rail cars made their grand debut Tuesday morning on the New Haven line. The first six-car train departed from Stamford at 10:30 and was scheduled to make all local stops on the way to Grand Central Terminal, the Connecticut Post reported.
It is the only M-8 train that will be in service on the New Haven line for the time being. A second is expected to arrive next month.
The new train should make its first run carrying paying customers within weeks, a Metro-North spokesman said. The cars must finish a testing period in which they run without
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes said that 100 years ago, rail transportation was more efficient than it is today. One of the reasons that service on the New Haven Line of Metro-North has been so bad for commuters is because Connecticut is not represented on the Metropolitan Transit Authority Board.
"If you look at the differences between the Hudson Line, the Harlem Line and the New Haven Line, you can see that [the Hudson and Harlem lines] have modern cars with modern service," he said when he sat down with members of Main Street Connect's editorial team Wednesday.
When it comes to commuting, Stamford resident Jules Naudet counts his blessings. "I've been very lucky," said Naudet, an independent filmmaker who travels into New York City every day. He usually boards an express Metro-North train from Stamford shortly after 10 a.m.
"There was a 10-minute delay this [Wednesday] morning, but [otherwise] everything was running quite smoothly. I was quite surprised."
Naudet seemed to be in the minority Wednesday. "The last couple of weeks (the train ride) here and then the way home, has been a nightmare," said Matt Frye, an equity trader
With more than 40 percent of the train cars routinely out of service on the New Haven Line, Metro-North President Howard Permut isn't pulling any punches. "The situation is dire," Permut said in a letter announcing cutbacks in service: Peak service is being cut 10 percent.
The Reduced Winter Schedule is effective Monday, Feb. 7, through Friday, March 4. Also, a Sunday schedule will be in effect for both Saturdays and Sundays, beginning this Saturday. Commuters should check schedules for changes: there is an interactive online schedule or PDFs can be downloaded. Riders will see
UPDATE 2-2-2011: Metro-North Railroad reports that riders traveling on the New Haven Line should expect delays of up to 15 to 20 minutes as well as crowded trains because of severe and continuing weather-related equipment shortages.
ORIGINAL STORY: A train derailment reported in Cos Cob on Tuesday night is expected to cause delays along the New Haven Line through the overnight commute. The Metro-North Railroad train was northbound. It left Grand Central Terminal at 8:07 p.m. It reportedly attempted to change tracks when its wheels caught and went off course.
UPDATED 1:15 p.m.: All trains are running on time early Friday afternoon, Metro-North Railroad reported.
Original story: Riders on Metro-North's New Haven Line, including those on the New Canaan and Danbury branches, are once again faced with rush-hour delays Friday morning.
At 7:45 a.m., Metro-North Railroad said trains were experiencing delays of 20 to 30 minutes. The trains are running on a regular weekday schedule.
On Thursday, service on the New Haven Line was limited to a Sunday schedule. On the New Canaan and Danbury branches, service was suspended.
Riders, are you expecting delays and planning ahead? Leave a comment below!
Commuters such as Mac Budd who travel on Metro-North every day are still waiting for the new rail cars that were supposed to arrive last month. However, with Metro-North continuing to experience problems with its testing, it could be some time before the new cars carry passengers.
"I can't wait for them. These [old] trains have been around 40 years. They've definitely seen better days. They experience a lot of problems," Budd said. "And it's not cheap, the rates keep going up."
Steve Eaton, another commuter, said, "It will be nice if we eventually get them. I mean, [the
If you're riding the train Monday, don't forget it's Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In observance of the holiday, Metro-North Railroad will operate on a Saturday schedule. Additional trains will be available during the morning and evening peak hours.
Train times can be viewed online at the Metro-north schedules page.
Do the holiday schedules work for Metro-North? Or are the trains too crowded? Leave a comment below.
Riders on Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line couldn't catch a break on Friday. After a day filled with delays, Metro-North reported 10- to 15-minute delays, in both directions, between Stamford and New Haven up until 11 p.m. Friday.
A malfunction on the South Norwalk Bridge was reportedly to blame for the delays. According to the railroad, the drawbridge was stuck open. Metro-North blamed the extreme cold weather for the switching problem.
The bridge also malfunctioned during the morning rush hour, contributing to the 40-minute delays riders experienced.
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