EDITOR’S NOTE: Metro-North announced Thursday that they have CANCELLED the plan to replace train cars with buses this weekend.
Starting late Friday night and through Sunday, Dec. 16 to 18, riders on the New Canaan Branch will be taking buses rather than trains, and the buses will be 15 minutes earlier (see the attached schedule). The reason: track work. All four stations on the branch will be affected — Talmadge Hill, New Canaan, Glenbrook and Springdale. Here’s an announcement from Metro-North and bus timetables for the duration:
Substitute bus service will be provided between New Canaan and Stamford stations for select trains on Friday, Dec.
You don’t need to be hit with that 6 percent hike in Metro-North train fares all at once on Dec. 1 if you take a simple step or two in buying tickets in advance, commuter advocate and Darien resident Jim Cameron advises. In an email sent to commuters by Cameron’s Commuter Action Group, he notes several ways you can get around the fare hike, or much of it, for months. Two caveats:
Just before Christmas, you may have to spend more money earlier to cut costs. Consider it an investment with barely any risk (which would be losing the tickets).
A Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) fare increase of 6 percent goes into effect on the Connecticut portion of the New Haven Line on Dec. 1, 2016. This increase will affect ticket prices for travel
between stations within Connecticut
between stations in Connecticut and New York stations
See New Haven Line Station Fares to/from Grand Central here. See New Haven Line Connecticut Intermediate Fares:
The fare increase does not affect travel to or from stations within New York state. ____________
How to Hack That 6% Train Fare Hike Before December Descends (Nov.
Metro North has extra trains on Wednesday and a special holiday schedule for Thanksgiving Day (the busiest travel day of the year) through the following Sunday.
Here’s the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announcement:
We’ve created a special Thanksgiving Holiday Timetable covering Thursday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Nov. 27. So be sure to pick one up in Grand Central or at our outlying stations. You can also find train times on our schedules page or on our new TrainTime App!
Here’s the prepared statement from Darien resident Jim Cameron, head of the Commuter Action Group, gave to state officials at Wednesday night’s public hearing in Stamford on proposed fare increases for Connecticut train riders:
My name is Jim Cameron and I am a resident of Darien and have ridden Metro-North for 25 years. I served 19 years on the CT MN Rail Commuter Council, 4 as its Chairman. I am also the founder of The Commuter Action Group, a rail advocacy organization. First, I would like to commend Gov Malloy and CDOT for yesterday’s announcement of the purchase of 60 additional M8 rail cars to handle our rapidly expanding ridership. This is very good news, if long overdue.
An app to buy train tickets from your phone will soon be available for commuters on the New Haven Line, including branch lines like the New Canaan Branch, state and Metro-North officials announced Thursday. Officials also announced that bike racks are now available on all New Haven Line trains. Here’s the announcement from the governor’s office (and see a video of the news conference, below):
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, (CTDOT) and Metro-North Railroad today announced that commuters on the New Haven Line — including the New Canaan, Danbury, and Waterbury branch lines — will soon be able to purchase train tickets utilizing an app on their mobile devices, providing added convenience to commuters. Once on board, commuters will simply need to show the digital ticket on their smartphone device to the conductor. In addition, the Governor today announced that in response to customer demand, bicycle racks have been installed and are now in service on every New Haven Line commuter train.
Metro-North recently issued this explanation for ongoing 10- to 15-minute morning commute delays for trains going into Grand Central Terminal:
The recent delays you may be experiencing during your morning rush hour commute are due to speed and operating restrictions still in place on the Park Avenue Viaduct as a result of the damage caused by the commercial fire at 118th Street on May 17. While our crews were able to quickly make temporary repairs to the viaduct’s steel structure enabling us to restore regular service just two and a half days after the incident, speed restrictions of 30 miles per hour continue on the two inside tracks through the affected area. In addition, diesel locomotive trains are only allowed to operate on one of the two inside tracks, which causes congestion at the critical junction where trains from all three lines meet. These constraints have created train delays averaging 10-15 minutes during the key morning peak hours of 7:30 to 9 a.m.
Customers should continue to anticipate these delays until permanent repairs are engineered and implemented. Metro-North’s engineers and our consultants have been meeting to determine the best course of action to take in order to make permanent repairs to this vital structure.
Because of the failure of a railroad draw bridge near South Norwalk (and we know of only one — the Walk Bridge over the Norwalk River, by the Maritime Aquarium), service has been disrupted on the New Haven Line. While service has now resumed, there are significant delays, and there “will be no inbound (to NY) train service at South Norwalk, Rowayton, Darien and Noroton Heights Stations,” Metro-North said in an announcement “Customers using those stations should go to Stamford for train service to Grand Central.” Here’s the announcement Metro-North posted Saturday afternoon:
Train service to New Haven has resumed with significant delays due to single tracking and train congestion as a result of the failure of a draw bridge in the vicinity of South Norwalk to close properly. Currently there is only one track available for service over the draw bridge. Limited service from New Haven to New York/Grand Central Terminal has also resumed with significant delays due to single tracking over the draw bridge.
To help you get a jump on the Memorial Day weekend — the unofficial start of summer — Metro-North Railroad has extra early getaway service on Friday, May 27 and plenty of trains to get you to your destination during the long holiday weekend. Friday, May 27
On Friday, May 27, there are 17 extra “getaway” departures from Grand Central Terminal between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and one extra departure from Hoboken Terminal on Metro-North’s Port Jervis Line. ___________
— an announcement from Metro-North
Some late p.m. peak trains will be canceled/combined due to reduced ridership in this time period. All extra and cancelled trains are shown in the current timetable.
New Haven Line
Nine extra “getaway” trains will depart from Grand Central at:
12:58 p.m., stopping at Harlem-125th Street, Westport, and all stations between Fairfield and New Haven.
For Friday, May 20, Metro-North is operating a regular weekday schedule. Customers should anticipate some residual delays due to speed restrictions on all four tracks on the Park Avenue Viaduct. See train schedules.
— an announcement from Metro-North (See bottom of article for Twitter feeds)
The return to a full schedule was made possible by round-the-clock work on the part of hundreds of employees who on Thursday completed the installation of six temporary steel columns to brace a column damaged in Tuesday’s fire. Metro-North crews continue to work at the site, making other needed structural repairs to the viaduct. For the remainder of for Thursday, May 19 Metro-North Is Operating An Enhanced Saturday Schedule.
In effect on all three lines, Thursday’s enhanced Saturday schedule provides customers with additional trains during peak travel periods and represents 75% of ridership capacity. Customers should refer to the schedules page.
Metro-North’s connecting services (the Hudson Rail Link, Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry and Newburgh-Beacon Ferry) are operating on an enhanced Saturday schedule.
The “enhanced Saturday schedule” that Metro-North will use while the damaged Park Avenue Viaduct is repaired has more trains than a regular Saturday, providing about 75 percent of normal service on Thurday, according to the railroad. By Thursday morning, the railroad expects to have three of the four tracks in service at the spot where the fire took place, as crews continue to work on the damaged fourth and final track. Here’s most of the announcement Wednesday afternoon from Metro-North (we’ve left out a few paragraphs about Hudson Line service), followed by two Twitter feeds with ongoing updates:
UPDATE: Metro- North Announces Enhanced Saturday Schedule for Thursday, May 19
Enhanced Schedule Will Provide More Peak Period Trains For Customers Than Typical Saturday Schedule
Metro-North crews continue making progress on repairs to the railroad’s Park Avenue Viaduct that was damaged by last evening’s four alarm fire beneath the structure, allowing the railroad to expand its regular Saturday schedule for tomorrow’s commute. Thursday’s enhanced Saturday schedule provides customers with additional trains during peak travel periods and represents 75 percent of ridership capacity. The enhanced Saturday schedule will be in effect for Thursday on all three lines. Customers should refer to the schedules page .
The Tuesday fire in Manhattan that halted train service from Grand Central not only disrupted Wednesday morning’s commute, but threatens to do so for days to come. Commuters faced crowded trains arriving on a Saturday schedule, and sometimes, according to reports, not stopping at all at certain stations, even when scheduled. In Darien, a Planning & Zoning Commission meeting had to be cancelled when the commission couldn’t get a quorum — some members were stuck in Manhattan when the trains stopped running late Tuesday afternoon. To help keep up with the latest developments, we’ve attached to this article two Twitter feeds: One from Metro-North, the other for all tweets with #MetroNorth in them. That should have links to up-to-date information on the situation, not only from Metro-North, but from other, independent sources:
Tweets by @MetroNorth
Metro-North’s train schedule will change on Sunday, April 3. Here’s the announcement (with information about the Hudson and Harlem Lines removed):
Our new timetables, which go into effect Sunday, April 3 look to improve performance in peak periods, accommodate track outages for crucial infrastructure work, and accommodate some of your suggestions. To improve performance, we looked at peak trains with the highest ridership that lost time en route to their destination due to longer dwell times at stations (because of ridership increases and/or bridge plates for track work slowing boarding), temporary speed restrictions, track changes for track outages, or the cascading impact of other late trains. What do we mean by “cascading impacts?” Here’s an example: Let’s say the 7:18 a.m. train from Mount Kisco is running 3-4 minutes late at North White Plains.
On Thursday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, you can wear green on Metro-North trains, you can even get on a train drunk, and you can certainly be Irish For A Day, no matter what your ethnic heritage — but you can’t bring booze on the the train. Metro-North just issued an announcement about the no-drinking policy for train riders. Here’s the full announcement (except for the part about trains on other lines than the New Haven Line):
This Saint Patrick’s Day, Thursday, March 17, Metro-North will not permit alcoholic beverages on trains, platforms or at stations to maintain orderly travel for customers. Any alcoholic beverages found by MTA Police will be confiscated.
Hoverboards Not Allowed. That is the new message from the MTA. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced that possession of hoverboards aboard trains or buses or at stations of the New York City Subway, New York City buses, […] Metro-North Railroad […] is prohibited. ____________
— an announcement from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Note that you can’t even carry hoverboards at a station or on a train.)
The MTA is promoting the ban through a new MTA advertising campaign using the now-famous “bubble people,” with the headline: Hoverboards Not Allowed. The MTA’s safety rules have long prohibited the use of personal wheeled vehicles, such as skateboards, skates or scooters, in train stations.