Metro-North Warns: Expect Crowded Trains Due To Repairs

Metro-North was warning customers to expect crowded trains Wednesday morning because fewer cars were in operation on the New Haven Line.

An example of how the MTA utilizes special trains to clean leaves off of Metro-North tracks.

Photo Credit: MTA

"Customers should anticipate crowded trains this morning due to the unavailability of several train cars requiring wheel repair on account of yesterday's weather-related slippery rail conditions. We apologize for any inconvenience," Metro-North said Wednesday via Twitter.

Related story: Train Hits Car On Tracks In Redding Along Danbury Branch, Metro-North Says

"Slip-sliding during braking creates flat spots on the train's wheels, forcing us to take much-needed equipment out of service for repairs," Metro-North said.

Tuesday's rain, combined with fallen leaves, caused delays for much of the morning and evening commutes, with delays of 20 minutes or more, due to slip-slide conditions on the tracks along the New Haven Line.

During autumn, fallen leaves are run over by trains, compacted by the weight, and crushed into a “gelatinous, slime-like substance that reduces the normal amount of adhesion train wheels have on the rails,” creating a condition known as “slip-slide,” which prevents trains from stopping normally when the brakes are applied.

“Anyone who has ever driven a car and tried to brake on a patch of ice knows something of what it feels like for a train engineer who applies the brakes to a train on a patch of rails coated in liquefied leaf residue,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said in a statement. 

Metro-North also suspended service late Tuesday after a train hit a car that was on the tracks at Topstone Road in Redding along the Danbury Branch, Metro-North said.

The one person in the car, whose condition was unknown, was taken to Danbury Hospital, Metro-North spokeswoman Nancy Gamerman said.

Service was suspended in both directions along the Danbury Branch for over two hours after the accident at 9:10 p.m., she said. 

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