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The (Same Old) Story of Metro-North's 'Infuriating' Delays

Train service came to a standstill for nearly two hours last night, on a day that started with delays. And today, more delays on the New Haven Line.

Commuters await the resumption of service in Stamford on Metro-North's New Have Line on Jan. 23, 2014. Credit: Jason Rearick / Stamford Advocate
Commuters await the resumption of service in Stamford on Metro-North's New Have Line on Jan. 23, 2014. Credit: Jason Rearick / Stamford Advocate
By Gary Jeanfaivre

Freezing cold waiting for a train when all you want to do is get home after a long day at work.

That was the story last night for thousands of Metro-North commuters when the railroad experienced a temporary shutdown due to signal issues. Metro-North first reported the stoppage at 8:20 p.m. — after the peak rush hour time, but still early enough to affect thousands of people.

"Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Line service is currently stopped due to signal issues," the railroad said. "Appropriate personnel are responding. We will provide additional details as they become available."

The standstill lasted nearly two hours, according to Metro-North. And commuters let their feelings be known on Twitter. 

"It's been steadily going downhill. Every day you think it can't get worse & bam new issue. 7 yrs commuting."— Alysia Morris.

"This is turning into a full time job just Tweeting about MN in meltdown." — CT Rail Commuters.

"Time to tell the @CTDOT_Statewide to hold @MetroNorthaccountable for all these service disruptions." — John Sini tweeted @senatorduff.

"I moved from NYC to Stamford in Sept. I plan on moving back because of how bad my commuting experience has been with@MetroNorth." — Pablarberblah tweeted @jahimes (Congressman Himes).

It also prompted U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4) to get involved. This morning, as Metro-North's New Haven Line continued to experience delays of up to 15 minutes due to weather conditions, Himes released the following statement:

"Metro North's string of accidents and delays is simply unacceptable. From the recent dangerous crashes and derailments to yesterday's infuriating delays — and especially the lack of information given to passengers stranded on trains between stations for hours — Metro-North needs to reassess its priorities and operations."

"Yesterday's electrical problems are also a clear demonstration of the cost of not investing in our transportation infrastructure, but money is not the only issue. This is no way to run a railroad," Himes continued. "Individuals lose valuable time, we as a society lose productivity, and businesses lose money when the trains don't run on time." 

"I spoke with Metro-North President Howard Permut last night and expressed to him the frustrations of my constituents and the urgency needed to handle this matter. I look forward to hearing from Metro-North on how they plan to keep riders better informed during what should be infrequent disruptions of service and how they plan to improve the safety of this essential transit system," he concluded.

Thursday actually started off with delays up to 30 minutes for New Haven Line commuters. Electrical issues and wire damage caused by the sub-zero temperatures were the culprit, Metro-North said.

Are you a rail commuter? What's your overall opinion of Metro-North?

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