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One late train

November
18

Turns out Metro-North Railroad’s advisory that Harlem Line trains were running late yesterday morning was a bit exaggerated, which of course is good news.

Especially since it followed a day when New Haven Line trains were late because of wire problems.

Yesterday’s snag was a short circuit and small flame caused by a loosened third rail wire in Valhalla, said Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders. The copper wire carries the juice that runs the trains from one section of third rail to the next. When it loosened, it caused an arc that caused the fire. It was put out quickly and only one northbound train was delayed, by nine minutes, Anders said.

But the railroad put out the word to expect late trains.

“We thought it was going to be a real meltdown but it turned out not to be,” Anders said. The fire, she said, was tiny. What’s more; “The dispatchers were able to operate around the problem….It was an abundance of caution that we put out an advisory.”

It caught my attention because it came the day after the delays on the New Haven line, which was caused by wire damage. (The New Haven line is run by third rail from New York City to about Pelham. From there north, it’s run on overhead wires.) Anders said the problem was fixed shortly before 1 p.m.

I couldn’t help asking about the train I’d taken, the 4:29 p.m. from Larchmont to Grand Central Terminal which was about 10 minutes late. Anders said it’s possible there were still some lingering delays by that time because of the morning problems.

Anyway, both problems are now fixed, in a system that boasts an on-time rate of 97.6 percent.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 at 5:42 pm by Ken Valenti. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Commuting

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About this blog
Going Places is your online source for shortcuts and news on the ins and outs of getting around the Lower Hudson Valley. We'll help you deal with traffic tie-ups, bad drivers and the high cost of commuting.

Going Places is written by transportation writers Khurram Saeed and Ken Valenti. Khurram's transportation column, "Getting There," runs Wednesdays in Rockland. Ken's column, "Going Places," runs Mondays in Westchester and Putnam. Join in the conversation and share tips on coping with fellow commuters.

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About the author
Khurram SaeedKhurram SaeedKhurram Saeed has been reporting for The Journal News since 2000. He writes about transportation issues in Rockland and has a weekly column called Getting There, which appears Wednesdays. READ MORE


Ken Valenti Ken Valenti Ken Valenti covers trains, planes and automobiles - not to mention buses and ferries - for Westchester and Putnam. He's been a reporter with The Journal News and its forerunners more than 20 years and has covered all four corners of Westchester County. READ MORE


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