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Normal service on Metro-North, except Port Jervis line

Transit alert from Eyewitness News
August 30, 2011 7:54:54 AM PDT
Metro-North Railroad has resumed regular weekday service on the Hudson Line, New Haven main line, and lower and upper Harlem lines.

The MTA says, however, that service remains suspended due to extensive damage caused by Irene on some lines that feed into the New Haven line and on the Port Jervis line west of the Hudson River.

Most trains, buses and subways across the area have resumed operations. Metro-North was among the last to do so.

Service was suspended systemwide after all three lines were hit hard by flooding and mudslides. Connecticut's New Canaan branch was knocked out of service by a downed tree snagging overhead wires.

Train service on the Port Jervis Line is suspended until further notice due to "catastrophic" damage to many portions of the line.

The full extent of the damage has not been determined, as much of the line remains inaccessible and under water. Through a combination of observations made on the ground and from a helicopter, Metro-North work crews have observed significant washouts and fallen trees at numerous locations along the tracks west of Suffern. Some of the more significant issues that have been identified include:
- Three washout locations of 1,000 feet each near Sloatsburg
- A 400-foot section of track washed out to a depth of 8 feet south of Sloatsburg
- Significant damage to several railroad bridges
- Suspected significant damage to the signal system, which is exposed and under water.

Metro-North will retain an engineering firm to perform a thorough inspection of 24 miles of infrastructure to determine the full extent of necessary repairs and determine required environmental permitting. Major construction work would follow.

It will take months to rebuild the track, signal and bridge infrastructure required to reinstitute train service, although the exact duration will be determined by the investigation.

Metro-North worked with Orange County to develop an alternate service plan for the 2,300 people who use the Port Jervis Line each weekday. If the NYS Thruway is open in the morning, bus service will take customers from the Harriman Station to the Ramsey/Route 17 station to catch trains. For the return trip, customers will get off trains at Ramsey/Route 17 and board a bus for the trip back to Harriman. Buses will follow the train schedule. As road and station conditions improve in Orange County, Metro-North will seek to expand the bus options available.

In addition, customers can use their Port Jervis Line commutation ticket on the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry, which resumes service Tuesday, or on the Newburgh-Beacon Bus. Customers will have direct bus service at Harriman station. Port Jervis Line commutation tickets also will be honored for travel on the Hudson Line. Customers from Salisbury Mills Station west to Port Jervis station can park at Harriman and Beacon or Cortlandt stations on the Hudson Line. Valid LAZ permits will be honored at these locations. Parking at these stations will be provided for those customers for the remainder of this week, although a permit does not guarantee a space.

Overnight, hundreds of Metro-North crews addressed several mudslides and washouts along the Hudson Line, removed numerous fallen trees on all three train lines, pumped water out of key locations, restored signal and power systems, repaired and replaced switch motors. The difficulty of these efforts was compounded by the significant road closures in the territory.

Metro-North crews continue to work around-the-clock, assess conditions, clear the tracks and repair the infrastructure.

Metro-North says it will continue to restore as much service as possible once it is safe to do so.

Customers are urged to monitor media reports for the latest information, check the MTA's website at http://www.mta.info and sign up for customer email and text message alerts.


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