While passing through Grand Central this morning shortly before 7 a.m., I noticed crowds larger than usual idling throughout the main hall, and when I glanced up at the video boards, I — or at least anyone who needed the New Haven Line — was in for a rude awakening. All New Haven Line Metro-North service had been suspended to do the failure of a 138kV power feeder that began at approximately 5:22 a.m., and full power could take a few weeks to return.
Twelve hours in, and the news is not looking good. Con Ed issued only a terse statement seemingly taking a passive aggressive swipe at the MTA: “Con Edison is working with Metro-North to try to establish alternative power sources to serve the New Haven line. Company crews are working around the clock to make repairs to a feeder cable that failed earlier today, but repairs of this nature typically take 2-3 weeks. Another feeder normally providing service to the New Haven line was out on scheduled repairs to accommodate Metro-North upgrades on their equipment.”
The MTA, meanwhile, is scrambling. The agency can run only one train per hour in each direction, which amounts to only 10 percent of the regular service on the nation’s busiest commuter rail line. Amtrak is reporting significant delays as well. Thursday’s commute will involve some sort of train/bus shuttle combination, and the MTA will have the plans for this service ready later today. I’ll update as more information comes in.