One late train
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.