Metro-North running fewer trains Tuesday

Metro North will be operating a Sunday schedule until further notice Tuesday, March 14, as a winter storm hits the area.

Extra trains will be added as needed. There will be no branch line service.

The railroad announced the changes shortly after a travel ban went into effect across Connecticut at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Severe winter weather can create hazardous travel conditions throughout our region. It can also hamper MTA Metro-North Railroad's ability to provide you with regular service. We present the following information because we want you to understand and be prepared for any service changes we make based on winter weather conditions.

Shortly after 5 a.m., when a travel ban went into effect, Metro-North officials said they would be applying "some of the lessons we learned from both record-setting snowstorms and record-setting heat. We want to learn from our experiences, and build on what we have learned."

Officials said the railroad has adjusted its severe weather response in key areas:

  • Communications: Metro-North, according to a release, has improved the content and coordination of real-time information via our Customer Communications Center, which oversees platform announcements and platform display sign updates, email alerts, and service status box updates on the website. The Center also monitors Metro-North Train Time and the Metro-North Train Time App, which provide real-time service status on a Smartphone or computer. Railroad officials said they are now able to provide more information in a timelier manner during emergencies.

  • Equipment: In advance of the storm, employees begin prepping the fleet: Protective Heat Circuits are verified to be operational; air brake lines are purged of any 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-icer and exposed couplers are covered to keep snow out.

  • Infrastructure: Along the right-of-way, switches are treated with an anti-freeze agent and lubricated, and heating rods are activated; switches are continually moved by our Operations Control Center to help keep them functioning.Jet engine snow blowers and plow trains are positioned to start operation as soon as snow accumulations begin, allowing us to clean yard switches and third rail. Front-end loaders and backhoes are used to plow our right-of-way in order to access track interlockings and power substations.

Finally, snow-fighting material is dispatched to all stations and crews are positioned at numerous locations ready to clear platforms and stairways.

  • Train Crews: Metro-North has developed additional training for our train crews that focuses on providing critical communications in emergency situations. It have also enacted new protocols that provide guidelines for our train crews on customer care and comfort during emergency situations.

The railroad also conducts regular safety drills that focus on the importance of these areas and give railroad employees and regional first responders hands-on emergency experience.

Click here to read more on Metro-North's winter preparations.