Cold Stop for Metro-North New Haven Line Trains

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Metro-North is having major problems because of cold weather and old trains and that means one out of every four trains on the New Haven line is not operating on Wednesday.

Metro-North has 337 trains, so more than 80 are down.

Metro-North said the issue is extreme weather and failing old trains, which are more than 40. Snow gets into electrical components under the rail and they freeze, thaw, short, burn out and need to be replaced.

Metro-North released a statement warning that trains might be short cars, meaning fewer seats and crowded conditions.

“In the worst case, your train can be delayed or cancelled,” Metro-North said.

The issues include traction motors that must be repaired or replaced, freezing brakes and doors that won’t close properly because the snow and ice getting inside door pockets, preventing them from opening or closing on command. You can watch dramatic YouTube video of a stuck door here.

“Many require major maintenance, and our employees are working around-the-clock to make repairs,” Metro-North said. “When we have significant car shortages due to the extreme cold and snow, as we have had recently, we are forced to decide whether we can operate all our trains with less cars or whether we must cancel trains. Unfortunately, this week we will have to do both.”

New M-8 cars were ordered but there is yet another delay because of a technical problem, according to the Metro-North New Haven Rail Commuter Council. The problem is an electromagnetic interference between the trains’ computer systems and the railroad's signal systems at interchanges.

Metro-North administrators are frustrated by the glitches, the Connecticut Post reported on Monday. A $12.25 million seven-month contract extension for an engineering and inspection firm was signed on Monday.  

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