GREENWICH, Conn. -- Metro-North workers have completely rebuilt a control house, which controls switches and signals near Greenwich on the New Haven Line, that was destroyed by a fire May 10, finishing the project four months ahead of schedule.
The changeover to the rebuilt control house took place over the weekend of Sept. 6 and 7, Metro-North said. The completion of the work should improve train flow on the 9-mile stretch of tracks from Stamford to Port Chester, N.Y.
Now fully operational, the control house at Greenwich allows trains to switch between all four tracks in the area. During peak periods, trains normally use three of the New Haven Line's four tracks to travel in the peak direction.
Immediately after the May fire, Metro-North set out to complete initial repairs to allow trains to operate through this area at normal speed. As a result of the fire, peak-direction trains were limited to two of the four tracks between Stamford and Port Chester, resulting in a bottleneck that created congestion-related delays through that area.
The process to restore limited switching capability at Greenwich moved forward after an emergency locally controlled manual panel was installed in late May.
This panel allowed a signal maintainer to be stationed at the site at all times to work with a Rail Traffic Controller before the peak periods to manually change the direction of trains. This enabled Metro-North to make three of the four tracks available for AM Peak (inbound) trains and PM Peak (outbound) trains, which eased train congestion caused by the control house fire.
To rebuild damaged control house, Metro-North found newer equipment, which was slated for installation at another interlocking, would be usable at the Greenwich location. The newer equipment uses a touchscreen software-driven Local Control Panel, which requires far less wiring than older versions, and the physical interlocking layouts were virtually identical.
This time-saving repair developed by an in-house team of Metro-North experts allows restoration of full regular service on the New Haven Line many months earlier than scheduled.
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