Metro-North track work holds promise for better reliability

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Metro-North Railroad workers replacing worn out rail ties on the New Canaan branch.  With spring the railroad is resuming track and catenary work meant to advance plans to improve performance before summer.

Metro-North Railroad workers replacing worn out rail ties on the New Canaan branch.
With spring the railroad is resuming track and catenary work meant to advance plans to improve performance before summer.

Metro-North plans to resume system-wide track improvements and rehabilitation work on Monday including a six mile stretch of a single track between Melrose and Woodlawn that will help off-set other bottlenecks on the line contributing to delays, according to  the railroad.

Metro-North senior vice president of operations John Kesich said on Wednesday that once complete trains will be able to up speeds between Melrose and Woodlawn from 40 miles per hour to 75 miles per hour.

Simultaneously, work crews will be expediting the final stages of a three year project to replace worn out catenary wire on a section of track between Greens Farms and Bridgeport that has kept two out of four tracks out of service on a continual basis.

During previous service crises like the derailment of a commuter train in Bridgeport and collision with another in May that wiped out a 2,000 foot section of track brought service to a standstill.

“When it’s done it will be the first time in three years we’ve had all four tracks in that area in service,” Kesich said Wednesday.

New Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti said that a schedule change in May will help resolve customer dissatisfaction with unreliable service times subsequent to a slew of slow speed orders and mandated signalization upgrades imposed by federal rail regulators after Metro-North’s disastrous 2013.

In December the Federal Railroad Administration ordered the railroad to slow speeds in 26 locations through the New Haven, Harlem, and Hudson lines in addition to other safeguards to ensure engineers obey speed limits on sharp curves.

The agency also ordered signalization changes at two critical curves in Port Chester,N.Y. and Bridgeport as well as five moveable bridges on the New Haven Line which has added five to seven minutes to trips between New Haven and Stamford.

That work was completed earlier this week ahead of the FRA’s Sept. 1 deadline.

 

 

 

 

 

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