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Danbury Branch Track Work Prompts Weekend Bus Service

Metro-North Railroad will run buses along the Danbury Branch for the next three weekends.
Metro-North Railroad will run buses along the Danbury Branch for the next three weekends. Photo Credit: Karen Tensa

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- As work continues on three crossings, Metro-North Railroad will be running buses on the Danbury Branch beginning Friday evening, Aug. 8, and through the rest of the weekend. 

Buses will replace weekend trains because of work on three street-level crossings and track resurfacing on the Danbury Branch.

On the weekends of Aug. 8-10, Aug. 15-17 and Aug. 22-24, all trains will be replaced by buses, beginning at 9 p.m. Friday and continuing through midnight Sunday.

For more information on the weekend train and bus schedules, visit this website. Buses will make all stops from Danbury to Bethel, West Redding, Branchville, Cannondale, Wilton, Merritt 7 and South Norwalk.

The weekend construction work will be done at the crossings at Wilton Station, where there are two, and at Portland Avenue in the Branchville section of Ridgefield, according to the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Crews will be lifting out the tracks, cleaning the crossing foundations and bolstering the ballast shoulders of the crossings. The work will be paid for by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, which owns the New Haven Line, at a cost of $2 million.

In November, DOT and Metro-North completed a new signal system project along the entire Danbury Branch. The service was expanded along the Danbury Branch as a result of the project upgrade and construction of several portions of parallel track, or sidings, which allow more than one train to operate along the corridor at a time.

But since then, maintenance and reliability issues have been reported at some of the street-level crossings, including crossing gates that closed when no train was approaching.

Work has been underway since March along the Danbury Branch to repair the problem. 

For months, trains operated on a “stop and warn” system, requiring the train to stop before each crossing and warn motorists that a train is coming through. This practice reduced train speeds and affected service.

Also, another service change will occur on the weekdays of Aug. 18-22 and Aug. 25-28, when all off-peak trains will be replaced by buses. For more information on the weekday train and bus schedules, visit this website

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