Update 6:21 p.m.: Darien police were not notified about the matter until about an hour after it had ended, a police spokesman said.
A suspicious bag and suspicious beeping on a morning train led to 250 passengers being let off the train unexpectedly at the Noroton Heights railroad station.
The bag — originally reported as “an unattended package emitting sounds,” turned out to be garbage, and the beeping came from a harmless phone wedged in between a seat and a wall, causing its alarm to go off, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The 250 or so commuters who were evacuated at the station (not one of that train’s normal stops) were picked up by a train originating in Danbury, which arrived at Grand Central Terminal at about 8:18 a.m., not long after the original train was due at Grand Central (7:59 a.m.), the MTA said in a news release.
An MTA Police canine unit identified the bag and beeping. Trains were delayed by 10 to 15 minutes until 8:28 a.m. and by 5 to 10 minutes until 9:10 a.m., when the New Haven Line went back on schedule.
Here’s the full MTA statement about the incident:
At about 7 a.m. today, the crew of Metro-North train #1417, the train that originates at 6:51 a.m. at South Norwalk and is due into Grand Central at 7:59 a.m., reported an unattended package emitting sounds. The train crew notified the MTA Police and took the train out of service, asking the train’s roughly 250 customer to exit onto the platform.
The customers were picked up by Train #1819, which originates at Danbury at 6:11 a.m. and is normally due into Grand Central at 8:08 a.m. That train made a special unscheduled stop at Noroton Heights to pick up the passengers, which added about 10 minutes of time to the train’s run.
The MTA Police Canine Unit investigated and found a bag containing some garbage, and a cell phone wedged between a seat and the wall, which was causing its alarm to go off.
New Haven Line trains were delayed between 10-15 minutes between 7:28 a.m. and 8:28 a.m. From 8:28 a.m. until 9:10 a.m., trains experienced residual delays of 5 to 10 minutes because of the earlier activity. At 9:10 a.m. we were back to being on or close to schedule.